Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ear Muffs


Philip 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.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:45-46 ESV)
I've always loved the call of Nathanael; the rawness of the human reaction always seems to speak to me. You can look at it as racial or cultural tension with those from Nazareth, or simply as doubt and skepticism. However either case captures many of us when we come face to face with the possible Truth of Jesus Christ. We may have faced it in our past, currently face it, or know others of the same. It's a beautiful story, one worth sharing, but may when faced with it simply reply in jest; "Really, that's what you want me to believe?"

So much is captured in just a couple verses, and the few verses that follow capture even more in my opinion:
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael 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.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” (John 1:47-50 ESV)
There is something going on here far more than Nathanael being impressed that Jesus saw him under a fig tree that I assume must have been difficult or impossible for him to have seen him otherwise. However there is no dialog between Philip and Nathanael (who introduced them) asking about this seemingly amazing incident. There is no pause wondering how it happened. There is no doubt. Where did the skeptic go?

There is something about standing face to face with the Creator of the universe that even if you don't know it ... you know it.

Since I use this as a journal, my question now is how does this apply to me?

I think my application in this lies in something far greater than anything I can come up with on my own. I've been feeling for a while now (and to be honest this is a little bit scary) that God has been preparing me for something big. I don't know what, and I don't know when, but I just feel it. For the last few years I've been on a journey that has been growing, mostly intellectually. However my heart in the last several months has been separated from this world in so many ways. I don't mean isolated, just set more on things of Him, than things of this world.

In SE Michigan as we approach Easter there is a growing movement (hundreds of churches are participating) called EACH (Everyone a Chance to Hear). I think there are many Nathanael's out there, who just need to hear the Truth, or at least are given a chance. I used to worry more about my salvation than others. OK, that's a lie; I used to worry about my salvation, and not care about others. I used to live in spiritual isolation trusting in my eternal home, but being too scared to wander out to lead others to it as well. But that's changing. I think I put on my ear muffs too much, it's time to take them off. God doesn't stop talking, we just stop listening.

Lord, lead me to the Nathanael's out there, and may Your Truth penetrate their soul to advance Your Kingdom.

Soli Deo Gloria,
~Matthew

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