“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.”
I want to be known.
I want people to know who I am, to understand what makes me tick. At the same time, I don’t want anybody to know me. I don’t want to put in the effort to reveal myself to other people; simply, I would like them to know me without the painful journey of becoming vulnerable with others.
Can anyone else relate?
That’s why this story in John intrigues me. It intrigues because here we see that Jesus knew Nathanael. He knew where Nathanael’s heart was at and called him on it. Yes, Jesus simply rolls like that.
Last week I wrote that Jesus came to make God known to us. Today, I wish to tell you that Jesus came to us to make ourselves known to us.
This story and Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well illustrates for us now that Jesus knows us. He knows where we stand. He knows what secrets we keep. He knows what screw ups we are and the cynicisms that entangle us. Jesus gets us. And he still loves us anyways.
I take comfort in the fact that the first Advent of Jesus reveals to us that we are children of God. He came to reveal that nothing can pluck us out of the hand of God. If we are in Christ, then he will preserve us.
Dear reader, if you trust in Christ, you have eternal life. Even if you have baggage, even if you are a cynical brat, there is hope for you. There is hope and room enough for all who are called to new life. There was hope for a man under the fig tree and a woman at a well, there will certainly be hope for you behind the laptop, smart phone, or tablet too.
How do you make yourself known to others?