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Come and See

Weekly Devotionals

Come and See

John 1:43-51

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  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.”

In this day and age of rising religious fundamentalism the act of sharing one’s faith is bound to be met with rolling eyes from most. Certainly, it’s hard for sincere religious people to honestly talk about their faith when the hearers perceive them as intolerant, ignorant, unscientific or even prescribing to a faith that breeds violence. Our attempts to witness the truth and beauty of Jesus to those around us may stir an answer similar to that of Nathanael – “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

Philip’s response is telling. He doesn’t resort to apologetics or speak in highfalutin theological language. Instead, he replies with a simple invitation – “Come and see.” Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and place for theological discussion and the defense of our faith, especially when our faith is being misrepresented or caricatured in some demeaning way. With that said, converts are rarely turned over through argument or courtroom like defense soliloquies. For example, have you ever seen a marriage proposal where one proposed using the language of debate or having to convince them that yes was best? You’re right to think that such efforts would be pretty absurd.

Philip reveals a level of faith that is extraordinary in its ordinariness. I say that Philip is full of faith because he doesn’t need to prove Jesus to anyone. Instead, Philip knows that it’s the hand of God that stirs the hearts of people. All he needs to do is take on a posture of invitation. As you reflect and meditate on this passage this week, think of ways where you might be more inviting to those that wonder – “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”