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January 5, 2019 Featured

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book PNG2112Gospel: John 1:43-51
The next day, Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael  replied,  “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.”

Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” And Jesus said to him,“Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.” Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that.Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

“We have found the one.”
Jesus comes from a town so obscure that it is the punch line for jokes: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” But it takes very little for Nathanael to change his mind about the mys­terious stranger:“Master, you are the Son of God!” he proclaims. What causes this sudden change of heart? Was it Jesus’ appa­rent clairvoyance in seeing him under a fig tree? Jesus’ words evidently convey more to Natha­nael than we can know: a capa­city not merely to perceive his location but to read and weigh the value of his heart. Even still, as Jesus notes, the disciple will see “greater things than that.” As John notes in his epistle, “God is greater than our con­science and he knows every­thing.” John measures the con­tent of a heart that lives in the truth and opens itself in love to­ ward those who are in need. And yet the followers of Jesus will witness greater love than this: “He gave his life for us.” It follows that “we, too, ought to give our life for our brothers and sisters.”

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