Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Here’s a quick little thought I had this week that really encouraged me in getting back to simplicity.
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed,) in whom there is no deceit!" 48Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 49Nathanael answered him,) "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" 50Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." 51And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on) the Son of Man."
I love the heart and expression of Philip as He’s become a new follower of Christ. He approaches Nathanael with a Whopper of a statement... "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." He didn’t just find a new pair of Sandals or a nice new mat.. He found the SON OF GOD who completely changed his [Philips] life...He found The Word in Flesh...He found Everything the scripture and History had been pointing towards, the Creator of the Universe... Philip had found the True Messiah. Nathanael’s response of disbelief "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" [ simply translated :You’ve got to be kidding] couldn’t have given Philip much joy..it could have left him a little offended or in a place where he felt he would need to try and change Nathanael’s opinion.
But I love Philip’s response to Nathanael’s disbelief, he wasn’t offended or felt the need to justify himself and protect his dignity he just simply said “COME AND SEE”…..For me, those 3 words carry such conviction, expectancy, passion and excitement. Philip didn’t know how he could remove the opinion in Nathanael’s mind [that thing causing the Disbelief]...Philip was most likely lost for words. What he did know and was absolutely certain of was that if Nathanael met Jesus he would know He [Jesus] was the True Messiah just as Philip himself had experienced.
And in true fashion we see from verse 47 onwards Jesus in His love absolutely stuns Nathanael with a word and Nathanael just gets this instant revelation “You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel” his life was undeniably changed.
Philip didn’t take offence at Nathanael’s response, It was water off a ducks back. I believe it’s a truly liberating place to be where we aren’t at all offended or surprised by people’s opinions/judgments/pre-conceived ideas or Sin. These things cannot stop us from loving them and showing them Jesus. His grace and His love as we experience are WAY more accepting, spacious and liberating than we may fully know. He isn’t surprised or offended and in that we are absolutely FREE TO LOVE everyone. FEAR casts out LOVE – BUT - LOVE casts out ALL FEAR.