BULLETIN ARTICLE – 19 November 2017
In these remaining six weeks of the year, the church will be studying, during our Sunday ministry meetings, various characters’ encounter with Jesus. Each of these encounters will be unique and different for the people involved. Each one of us will also be able to describe our own special encounter with Jesus.
At one time or another, we have the experience of looking for something that had gone missing. It is a frustrated feeling that having searched all the likely places to come to the sad conclusion that the item cannot be found. In the same way, there are people who are looking for happiness in life in the wrong places. Our desires and unfulfilled hopes sometime lead us to go searching in the wrong places. People are looking for the right job, the right church, the right neighbourhood and so on. It is a legitimate concern to be significant, to contribute to society, to be loved and to love, to be secure, etc. These are important considerations but they are not an end in themselves.
n the Gospel of John we read of Philip and Nathanael encountering Jesus in the early days of His ministry. They were also searching. Being Israelites, they have been taught to look out for the coming Messiah (Christ). They must have known that there will come the King of the Jews who will save the people from their sins. So when Jesus called Philip, he readily responded to the call. Having found what he was searching, Philip shared the good news with Nathanael. However, in the prejudiced mind of Nathanael, Nazareth was an obscure town and it would not be reasonable that a great figure like the Messiah (Christ) should come out from the town. But Philip did not defend Jesus or His claims. He did not argue with Nathanael. He simply said, “Come and see.” Nathanael’s curiosity got the better of him and he let Philip lead him to Jesus.
When Nathanael met Jesus, he expressed amazement that Jesus had knowledge of him and the encounter resulted in him declaring: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” (Jn 1:49). “ Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that’” (Jn 1:50). In the few years that the disciples followed Jesus, they saw many great things – Jesus turning water into wine, healing of blind, deaf and dumb people, walking on the stormy sea and many others. Nathanael was told that if he followed Jesus he will see greater things. Like Nathanael, everyone is invited to “Come and see”, to follow Jesus and receive Him as Lord and Saviour. When you are prepared to commit your life to Jesus, He promises to take care of you for time and for eternity.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Prov 16:3)