Philip Announces the Christ to Nathanael

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday In The Twenty-First Week In Ordinary Time

John 1:45-51

 

“We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

  • There are two distinct associations in this statement
    • The Long awaited Messiah
      • Moses had prophesied a time when God would raise up another Leader for the Israelites
        • Just like himself
        • and greater
      • The Prophets down the centuries spoke of a coming Messiah
        • One who would redeem and save Israel
        • Daniel was influential among these prophets,
        • because he had predicted the social conditions which would be in play
        • when the Messiah comes; riding on the Clouds
    • Jesus of Nazareth
      • Phillip is expressing his faith, already.
      • He is identifying the man ‘Jesus,’ coming from Nazareth as this same Messiah/Christ.
      • and he is putting forward his ancestry
      • as the Son of Joseph.

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

  • There were conditions to be met with regards who would be the Messiah
    • A direct descendent of David
    • Someone born in Bethlehem
    • A mighty Warrior
    • Someone who would have many soldiers, to fight and overthrow the Roman rule.
  • What Nathaniel is asking here is
    • (Keep in mind Nathaniel has knowledge of Scripture)
    • What do we know of this Jesus
    • Is he of Davidic Ancestry?
      • Nazareth and the surrounding area was known for
      • Many individuals of Davidic ancestry staying in hiding from their Roman captors
      • So basically the inference of the rest is that these were cowards,
      • not taking their social responsibility seriously
    • Was he born in Bethlehem?
      • Nazareth is not to be found in any Biblical Prophecies for the coming of the Messiah
      • It belonged to the area of the Northern Kingdom (10/9 Tribes)
      • Who broke off from the United Royal Kingdom of Israel
      • To become the Kingdom of Israel
      • Who rebelled against Yahweh
      • following other Gods
      • The corruption of the 10 tribes had begun in the North.
      • The Northern Kingdom was the first to go into Exile
      • and the land was fully destroyed.
      • and filled with people from other places to further corrupt it
    • Nazareth and the Northern Kingdom had no prophetic  agency
      • except those of Elijah and Elisha
      • And following its destruction
      • It had no relationship with Yahweh
    • To counter this,
      • Remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son
        • Even if your sins are as red as scarlet, yet I will never disown you
        • A light shall shine in the darkness of the Northern Kingdom
        • and it shall be like a beacon for all, to hope and believe.
      • All speak of a Steadfast God
        • who never forgets his covenants
        • who does not look at the sin
        • but the relationship he has with the person/people
        • A loving God…

“Come and see.”

  • The response that Phillip gives Nathaniel is marvellous
    • It can only be God inspired
    • He does not counter the statement of Nathaniel
    • Because he knows according to normal understanding of that time, Nathaniel was right.
  • Yet the response is laced with what Phillip has seen
    • and the conviction he has gained
    • it is not argumentative
  • The words are a simple invitation
    • Do not believe because I say so
    • accept this invitation because of our friendship
    • come check for yourself
    • if you find conviction
    • Abide with the Christ
    • else, you are free to go your way…

I will extend this same invitation to all of you, Come and See…

  • You may not know Jesus fully
    • Not understand him
    • you may know a lot about him
    • but are not fully satisfied
  • I invite you to make the Word of God your home
    • dwell in it and read it
    • daily
    • even if you read 1 chapter a day, it is okay
    • It has the power to transform our thoughts and minds
    • free us from ambiguity and the falsehood of the world
    • It draws God to you
    • And when God comes,
    • He will make his home in you.

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