We have found the Messiah: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the king of Israel! John 1:41, 49
whose Son, Jesus Christ, is now exalted as Lord
of all, and pours out his gifts upon the Church:
grant it that unity which only your Spirit can give,
keep us in the bond of peace,
and bring all creation to worship before your
throne; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
- 1 Samuel 3:1-10
- Psalm 139:1-5, 12-18
- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
- John 1:43-51
- Jonah 3:1-10
- Psalm 62:5-12
- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
- Mark 1:14-20
A Thought to Ponder
Epiphany 2 John 1:43-51
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth. Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
After the beautiful Prologue to his Gospel, the evangelist John recounts a series of brief scenes that serve as an introduction to his “Book of Signs.” In the course of four days, Jesus organises his ministry in a series of encounters with John the Baptist (day one and two), Andrew and Simon (day three), and, in today’s reading, Philip and Nathanael (day four). Each of these encounters provides a testimonial to the divinity of this Jesus: Lamb of God, Messiah, Son of God, King of Israel. The evangelist seeks to impress this Christology in the minds of his readers as he begins his narrative.
In today’s pericope, Philip, who has been called by Jesus, approaches Nathanael. Nathanael provides a bit of vinegar to the story with his caustic remark, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael’s gibe (probably reflecting the rivalry typical between towns and regions) might also be included by John as a preview of the later rejection of Jesus by the Jewish establishment because of his origins.
Nathanael also serves as the model of the “true Israelite,” part of the “remnant” who have faithfully awaited the fulfillment of God’s reign in the coming of the Messiah and now see that hope fulfilled in Jesus.
(Some scholars believe Nathanael continued in Jesus’ company as one of the Twelve. They suggest, though there is no conclusive evidence, that Nathanael is the apostle identified as “Bartholomew” in several New Testament lists of the apostles because Bartholomew’s name follows that of Philip.)
God can be found in the most unexpected of places. God is present in the poverty of our Bethlehems, in the emptiness of our Nazareths, in the turmoil of our Bethsaidas.
Whatever Nathanael-like scepticism, biases and judgments we possess are shattered in Christ who comes to proclaim God’s reign of justice and peace.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites the first disciples – and us – to “come and see” beyond our own safe little worlds and to realise the good things that we have shut out of our lives, to break out of the cycle of emptiness that impoverishes our spirits and hearts.
Often to our surprise, God seeks us out from the isolation of our fig trees and invites to come and realise a life transformed in his Christ.
You can read the Pew Sheet hereEpiphany-2-B