Saturday, March 12, 2011
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. ”Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 1:43-51 (New International Version)
After reading this passage about three times, I am wondering if some of the story was left out; here is this man that immediately believes that Jesus is the son of God! Was there no doubt at all? And on top of it the–but wait there is more line. It reminds me of the infomercial where you just can’t believe it’s only $9.95! What about the shipping and handling? Was it Philip that convinced him, was it Jesus on how he knew Nathanael’s character? Even Jesus seemed to question Nathanael, you believed because I told you I saw you under the fig tree?
I so wish I could be like Nathanael in so many ways, just trusting Jesus would be so much easier, but it sounds too good to be true. How do we tear ourselves away from the doubt? The idea of seeing heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending sound fantastic!
In the grand scheme of things we trust so many things, that the bus will arrive to take me to work, that the lights will go on when I hit the switch and so many more things. Should it be different when coming to our faith, should we just trust God just like Nathanael trusted what Jesus said? I think so.
God, thank you for giving us people like Nathanael, give us all the strength to have trust in you even when it sounds too good to be true. Thank you for loving us so very much in spite of our doubt! In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Martha Stocker is the Director of the Annual Fund in the Seminary Relations and Development Department. She has been at McCormick since 2003.