The Skeptic

My, Devotion to Him #35

 

VERSE PASSAGE: John 1:45-49 "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.” - NIV

Let's look at a few different things here in this passage.

"Philip found Nathanael"

Now these two men are mentioned together more than once. They two could very well have had a prior friendship before Philips conversion. Which I believe helps. It's easier to believe something from a friend than from a stranger because with a friend you've spent time with them, you've built a relationship, and trust. So, if they say something it's easier to believe than someone else whom you don't have that relationship with. Philip made a wise choice going to a friend. Not only would His friendship help but this also shows how much his friendship means. When we find out something that is beneficial, amazing, or one of kind thing, there is usually two things we do. We tell a family member, and we usually tell a friend. 

"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.”

Now this I believe is one of two things. Either he was using this to help persuade his friend or using this as an eye opener. He came to his friend and said, "Nathanael my friend, me and some others have found the one. The one that Moses wrote about in the law. The one whom the prophets wrote about. It's Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph." This was a bit much to take in. This is the biggest find in the world. And Philip I believe was using his friendship to keep this conversation going. Now Nathanael didn't say "this is crazy, he doesn't want no part in this" he simply said,

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked."

He wasn't denoting what Philip had said. He simply asked a question. And Philip replied, 

"Come and see"

This is producing action for his friend to come and see for himself the one true king, the Messiah. Now this next part is just amazing. 

"When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 

Jesus has already spoken of Nathanael as a man whom there is not deceit. Now, watch Nathanael's reply. 

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. 

What I think is interesting here is Nathanael did not denounce what Jesus has spoken of him nor did he accept it. He simply asked "how do you know me". 

"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.” 

Nathanael suffered from a skepticism that afflicts many people today. However, it is to his credit that he came to the Lord and gave Him a chance to prove who He was. We can only speculate what it was that Jesus saw Nathanael doing under that fig tree. but it is very clear that it was something that proved beyond a doubt that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus didn't rebuke Nathanael for his doubts, instead he removed them. The Lord has an answer for every doubt that we have. We need to be without deceit before the Lord as Nathanael was and come to Him when we are plagued with doubts instead of running from Him or avoiding Him.

Jesus knows our frame. He remembers that we are but dust as stated in Psalm 103:14. It is not a sin to doubt, but it becomes sin if we harbor those doubts. We should do as Nathanael did and bring our doubts to the Lord. Let's allow Him to deal with them and remove them from us

Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger