John 1:43-51New International Version (NIV) Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 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.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
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.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe[a] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[b]you[c] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[d] the Son of Man.”
The first thing that jumps out at me in this passage is “Finding Phillip”. I think that is important in this scripture, as well as our lives. Phillip did not find Jesus. Jesus found Phillip. I didn’t find Jesus, He found me! I did not decide to “follow Jesus”. No, He found me and told me to follow Him.
Ok, so if I am found and I am supposed to follow Jesus, How do I do that? I’m not trained! I know the Bible, but I can’t recite verses & tell people where it says that in the Bible. Surely, there are more knowledgeable people than me to follow Jesus! How do I go about that?
But that’s the point of this passage. All I have to do is what Phillip did-“ he found Nathaniel and told him.” That is all that Jesus calls me to do-tell others. I don’t need to be any great theologian. I just need to be passionate and committed and God will do the rest.
Did Phillip start referencing scripture, or providing proof when Nathaniel said “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” No, he just said “Come and see.” I think what it is saying is I don’t need to justify or prove anything. All I need to do is bring someone to church or Christ and let Him do the work. I don’t need to get into a big theological debate, I just need to be passionate and say-don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourself. Then I need to get out of the way and let God do the rest.
The best way to find and know Jesus is through personal experience. They need to experience it for themselves to truly believe. People are like Cuba Gooding, Jr. telling Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire-“Show me the money!”
I can tell people about my personal experience with following Christ. That will open the door. But, they won’t really believe that it is possible for them until they experience God’s love and forgiveness first hand. So, my job is to tell others and implore them to go and see for themselves and then sit back and watch God take over their life. I can try to help them see more clearly, but God will make them see.
So what does it mean for me to be a disciple? It means I am found by God. It means that I should tell others about God. It means that I shouldn’t lose confidence when my message isn’t well received. It means that I just need to tell people to see for themselves and then watch God do His thing. And finally it means receiving God’s grace and blessings.
I don’t need no formal training!
God, thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for showing me that to be a follower of Christ, all I need to do is tell others. Thank you for allowing me to be your light witnessing to all that I encounter each day. Thank you for showing me that I am your vessel to bring others to you so that they will see Your Good Works in me and allow YOU into their lives.