Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Come and See: Pondering Nathanael, John 1:46
I was reading John chapter one. After Philip was called by Jesus, he ran to tell his friend Nathanael about Jesus. Nathanael joked that nothing good could come from Nazareth! He wasn't quite convinced. I love when Philip says to Nathanael, "Come and see."
And Nathanael had a sweet encounter with Jesus. He came and saw. Jesus told him that he'd seen him while he was under the fig tree ... before Philip had even come to him to tell him about Jesus. My NIV commentary says, "The omni-present Lord was with him under the fig tree." I love that! Nathanael then declares that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus told him, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that."
I saw that Philip became a disciple of Jesus ... but what about Nathanael? He wasn't mentioned in the Matthew 10 list of disciples. My mind: how could he have such a sweet encounter and not follow Jesus like his friend Philip. I looked up "Nathanael" in the back of my Bible (Ryrie NIV) and beside his name it says, "Probably 'Bartholomew'" ... and then I was led to John 21:2 where Nathanael is actually listed among the other disciples.
I am no theologian ... but it looks pretty promising to me that Nathanael may very well be Bartholomew, and that he did follow Jesus. I'm counting on my theologian friends to tell me what they know!! I asked my mom if she had heard that ... she's been in church all her life, and she doesn't recall ever hearing anything about him. I love the things that the Lord teaches us, or at least has us ponder, as we spend time with Him ... the one true God. He is with us. All we have to do is, as Philip so sweetly said, "Come and see."
"... For you yourself have taught me." Psalm 119:102
**And just for further studying ... In John 21:2 where Nathanael is listed among 7 disciples ... he was among the 7 out fishing and catching nothing, when Jesus called to them from the shore and told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat and they would find fish (after Jesus had been resurrected). I love when they finally reach the shore ... reach Jesus ... and Jesus says, "Come and have breakfast." "None of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord." Jesus beckoned them to "come to him" once again ... and Nathanael was a part of that! By the looks of it, Nathanael did see "greater things." He knew the Lord, and the Lord knew him.