Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
John 1:43-51 - The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 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.” 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.” And 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.”
Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the Disciples. I think we forget that these were real men with real families and children (some of them) and mortgages and responsibilities. They were uneducated, yet they did their best to understand the Scriptures and to live a faithful life to God. They told jokes and laughed; they listened to the local news and cried; they prayed in faith and trusted God during a time when He seemed to have forgotten Israel. The Disciples were you and me.
Imagine, then, how scary it must have been to be called by Jesus. Imagine being so convinced in your heart that you have seen the Messiah that you are willing to walk away from everything you know: you familiarity; your normalcy; your security. Some of these guys traveled with their families. Imagine! What could make someone do that?
The answer to that question is: the same thing that causes people to follow Jesus today. Across the globe, men and women choose to give up everything to follow Jesus. Their families disown them. Their employers fire them. Their neighbors shun them. Still, they follow. In America, despite a poisonous climate, Christians rarely have to make that level of sacrifice to identity with Jesus, but we must all heed the words of Jesus: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:23-24).
Jesus doesn’t just want part of us; He wants ALL of us. He isn’t looking for a casual relationship. We come to Jesus, usually, out of curiosity. We follow Jesus because, like Nathaniel, we are convinced that we have met the Messiah; the Savior. When we come closer, however, we realize He is more powerful than we can even comprehend and more Graceful than we ever thought possible. He is not a way to God. He is THE Way. He does not share life-advice. He is life.