REFLECTIONS ON JOHN 1:43-51 - JEN MATIAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY
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[a] 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.”
I hear the sarcasm in Nathanael’s question almost as clearly as my own snide thoughts sometimes... “Can anything good come from there?” he quips.
How quick we are to judge. As much as we might like to think we’re accepting of everyone, the innate nature of our cynical thoughts begs to differ.
“How could she possibly support that politician?” “How could he think that?” “What kind of person would raise their child that way?”
We infer who someone must be because of circumstances we don’t fully know or understand.
Jesus sees all that we are, our faults and our snide remarks, and he accepts us with arms wide open. He implores us to open our eyes to the “greater things” that await us as we accept and love one another with the same unconditional love he offers us as well.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred (and fear, and anger, and division) let me sow love.
~Jen Matias, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.