i was reading in scripture today, and i noticed something i feel like sharing.
i was reading the first chapter in john’s gospel.( i love the part about light coming to the darkness, not how light came to bring more light to the already light places…but that’s for another time). i actually was drawn by phillip and nathanael’s interactions with each other and christ. here’s what the text says…”43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter[j] you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
i love it. first let me point out a couple things. nate wasn’t anti-nazareth. he knew where the messiah was coming from…he was sarcastic.
i would have been friends with nate. he was honest. jesus says something amazing about nate in vs. 47. he points out that nate ins’t about lying. nate is cynical and skeptical, but he is spiritually transparent. he is a cut the crap kinda chap. he has enough common sense to know some things. his ability to be candid reminds of the movie Liar, Liar; where jim carrey is unable to lie about anything. nate was a chap who didn’t like plastic people. he was a guy who jesus then promised would see some amazing things in life.
nate reminds me of this generation. jaded, skeptical, cynical,sarcastic, but has a transparency of spirit. a bunch of cut the crap kinda chaps. a generation that is tired of politics, church, plastic people, and social injustices along with social cast systems. they want things simple and authentic. they are tired of people talking out both sides of their mouths.
i’m not sure this is generation that will usher in the second coming of christ. but when jesus gather some folks to start this whole thing, he found people like this…did i mention they were young.(it only mentions peter and jesus paying taxes…but since matthew collected, i’m sure he was older too). jesus looks into the eyes of nate and says he’ll see some amazing things; heaven itself will open up. i don’t have a thus says the lord or anything…just thinking out loud.
but i do want to point out two things. since nate and this generation are so much alike, we can learn from christ’s interaction with him.
1. everything starts with a relationship (philip and nate)
2. jesus busted through the cynical facade by walking in the power of the holy spirit (prophet insight about sitting under the tree)
when we begin to build relationship because we actually like people, not because we are after another christian tally on our convert number, we’ll see facades fall and actually see the spiritual state of people. this generation is transparent and open, they just are waiting for us be authentic and simple…a little more like christ.