Friday, October 23, 2009

ooooooohhhh, BURN!!

Fig tree silhouetted at African dawn, Kenya, Africa
So, I stumbled upon one of my favorite moments in the Bible the other night. There are certain stories that are absolutely amazing to me, and I have many, many heroes (David and Esther are my FAVORITE people), but this is probably my favorite "moment" in the Bible. It's when Jesus is beginning his ministry and is rounding up his disciples, calling them to follow him. Then he meets Nathaneal.
John 1:45-50 tells the interaction (from the NIV):

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."
 46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see," said Philip.
 47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."
 48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. 
Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."
 49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
 50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 

Okay. Doesn't really look like a big deal, but here's the translation in our everyday language (thanks to The Message Bible):

Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, "We've found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It's Jesus, Joseph's son, the one from Nazareth!" Nathanael said, "Nazareth? You've got to be kidding."
But Philip said, "Come, see for yourself."
 47When Jesus saw him coming he said, "There's a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body."
 48Nathanael said, "Where did you get that idea? You don't know me."
Jesus answered, "One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree."
 49Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!"
 50-51Jesus said, "You've become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven't seen anything yet!

Hahahahaha! That cracks me up! "You've got to be kidding." One translation reads: "What good can come from Nazareth?" Good question, Nathaneal. Read the rest of Jesus' story, and see exactly what good comes from Nazareth.
The other thing I love is that we don't know what Nathaneal was doing under the fig tree, but whatever it was (I like to think he was praying, seeking, crying out to the Lord), when Jesus mentioned the place to him, it grabbed his attention and made him believe. This is one of my favorite moments because there are so many times in my life when I feel lost or apart from God, and I'll pray and some little (or big!) thing happens later that is like a personal message from God that just says to me: See? I was there with you. I hear you.
Anyway, Nathaneal is super cool to me because he just says whatever he's thinking, and Jesus recognizes that: "not a false bone in his body". It's just a really special moment that always makes me smile.

1 comment:

  1. God's special communication to you, just to let you know He is really there, knows all your needs, and will supply all your need according to his riches in glory....or again, exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask for. I wonder how The Message puts it. Thanks for sharing that encouragement with us.