“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.’” (John 1:45-49)
Nathanael’s skepticism about the Messiah coming from Nazareth is met by Jesus’ optimism about the life of Nathanael. Nathanael had a heart for God. He was a man of integrity. He was the kind of person Jesus was looking for to be His followers. The invitation is simply stated by Philip, “Come and see.” Nathanael needed to check Jesus out for himself. Was he really the one he had been waiting for? He would believe so after Jesus spoke of him being under the fig tree.
We all need a “Philip” in our life who comes to us and says, “I have found the Savior of humankind. Come and meet Him.” We need to be the one carrying that message to those around us. We may carry that message to an infant that we bring to meet Jesus in baptism. God’s grace will use us to extend the invitation, “Come and see,” to those around us. We can argue who finds who, but the main point is that we are drawn into God’s Forever Family. We are brought to a faith in Jesus because God’s grace has worked upon our lives. Our confession also becomes of Jesus, “You are the Son of God!”
Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin and separation from You. You bring about saving faith in a multitude of ways. Thank You for working that faith in us and helping us be Your instruments to invite others to come and meet Jesus. In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran church in Fairborn and a weekly guest columnist.