Welcome to the blog. Being in the Word daily is an important part of the Christian walk. Each day, I am going to read a chapter in the Bible and write an entry from a verse or a section of verses. I would encourage you to write your own journals as well. Pick a verse that jumps out at you and write some thoughts on it. My personal strategy is reading a chapter a day AND journaling Monday-Friday. Saturday is a review day where I go over what I have journaled and Sunday is a day to gather with other believers to worship. The purpose of this blog is to have a venue for discussing the Word (feel free to comment and add your own thoughts). I won’t be trying to capture a whole section of scripture each day, but rather share what has jumped out at me. So let’s dive in together into the book of John, chapter 1.
John 1:44-51 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 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.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 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.”
That’s not all!
This first chapter of John tells us about the beginning of the work of Jesus. It actually starts with the work He began in creating the world, but then goes into the practical earth-walking ministry. Here we see the first disciples being called and discovering that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The section of this chapter that jumped out to me was the calling of Nathaniel. Philip finds his buddy Nathaniel and tells him that he has found the ONE prophesied about in scripture. He tells him that Jesus is the real deal. Nathaniel isn’t so sure about this and decides he is going to have to see for himself. Funny thing happens when he meets Jesus: Jesus knows something about him that he shouldn’t know. It isn’t anything bad, it’s just that Jesus wasn’t there when he was under the fig tree and Jesus wasn’t there when Philip called him. But somehow Jesus “saw” him. Somehow Jesus knew him. Nothing like a supernatural omniscient statement like that to send chills running up your spine. And that was enough for Nathaniel. He was sold.
It is a beautiful picture, really, that is reflective of our salvation. Like Nathaniel, we come to the realization that Jesus is the saving one. We get to this place that we acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior. We are floored that He knows us, our every thought and our every need, and it drives us to follow Him. And like Nathaniel that seems like enough. It seems like we would be content just following Him and spending eternity with Him. But Jesus had much more in mind for Nathaniel, you and me. He says back to Nathaniel, “you think that’s something, that I saw you under a fig tree… just wait for what I have in store for you. There’s greater things than that coming in your life! You are going to see heaven opened and angels at work. Oh Nathaniel, there is much more.”
That is when this realization hit me: I think Jesus would say the same to us. We come to Him, grateful for the salvation that He has offered us. We embrace His grace and say yes to His ways. We commit to follow Him. But Jesus would say to us, “I have even more for you.” He would desire to open up the heavens and pour out His Spirit on us. He would desire to pour out his blessing on our lives. He would desire that we are set free from the things that keep us in bondage and from our past. He has for us, more than a mere conversion, but a life altering transformation! I think that is what He was saying to Nathaniel, that following Him would be marked by things unimaginable. And I wonder sometimes if we stopped short in this relationship with Jesus at the place of conversion. Because like He told Nathaniel, I have so much more in store for you on this journey with me. Be prepared for ALL of me and ALL that comes with me.