Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
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 truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “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 will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
Today church congregations around the country will hear sermons on this gospel, will hear the words and hopefully engage with the meaning. I won't be one of them though because I'm running God Squad this morning. So I'm wondering what a sermon on Nathanael's calling might touch on.
Interestingly this is the second time in 10 days that these verses have been in the lectionary, it leaves me wondering why. The first time these were my reflections.
Today I'm more struck with the fact that Nathanael was free of deceit, what a glowing appraisal. But I'm struck with the fact that I hope to be free of deceit but I have had to learn to employ tact and silence as part of that. I wonder if Nathanael was called for being the loose canon of truth, or for being able to be true when appropriate. It's a difficult balance and one I pray for help on each day.
Jesus you called Nathanael for being free of deceit, we pray for more of this in ourselves. Amen