Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Too Amazing to Keep to Ourselves
Philip makes a discovery that is too amazing to keep to himself. Jesus is about to leave for Galilee, where he will spend most of his time in ministry, and Jesus invites Philip to follow him. We are unsure of exactly what led Philip to identify Jesus as the fulfilment of Old Testament teaching and prophecy.
However, he is excited enough to share his discovery with his friend Nathanael, who was skeptical about the accuracy of Philip’s depiction of Jesus. After all, wasn’t Jesus from Nazareth, which produces nothing good? However, Nathanael’s desire for truth led him to accept Philip’s simple yet profound invitation to “Come and see.”
In his very first encounter with Jesus, Nathanael is amazed at Jesus’ perceptive assessment of him, and blurts out a confession about Jesus’ identity as “Son of God” and “King of Israel.” In response, Jesus mysteriously suggests to Nathanael what can be colloquially described as, ‘You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’
Through the Gospels and the history of Jesus’ work in the world, we have learnt so much more about him than Philip or Nathanael would ever know. How are we using this amazing knowledge in our time? I hope that we have found that what we have discovered in our relationship with Jesus is too amazing to keep to ourselves.
What can you share with a family member or friend about Jesus’ impact on your life? Personal referrals have probably been the most effective in introducing others to Jesus, and even more convincing when our lifestyle begins to reflect our ongoing engagement with him. Nathanael’s thoughts about Nazarenes were revised by his meeting with Jesus. Similarly, our choice to engage with our neighbors may also reveal pleasant surprises and marvelous opportunities to share our knowledge of Jesus’ redeeming love.
Desna Henry Goulbourne, pastor
United Moravian Church, New York City, New York