And Jesus Wept

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John 11: 28 – 37

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 

31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.  32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

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33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind manhave kept this man from dying?”

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In the last article, we took a brief look at one of the most powerful statements that Jesus ever spoke.  He declared, “I am the Resurrection, and the Life.”  This is such a profound and deep theological truth.  One of the major worldviews among western people today is that we live within a closed system, that there is no God, that life began as just a chemical process over great millennia of time.

But Jesus’ words greatly challenge this worldview.  He claims that He is the true source of Life.  And Scripture backs up this claim.  Take a look at what John said in the first chapter of his book, realizing that “the Word” is a reference to Jesus who came into the world:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

John is not alone in this view of Jesus being the source of all life.  Paul puts it very clearly for us in Colossians chapter one:

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

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This is all important background as we see what happens in our passage above.  When Mary heard the news that Jesus had come and was nearby, she immediately got up and ran out of the house to go and meet Him.  The people thought that her action was a reaction to the grief she was feeling over the loss of her brother.  Yes, she was experiencing grief, but with Jesus’ presence now, I believe she had hope that Jesus could make a difference in the situation.

It’s interesting that the words she spoke to Jesus were identical to that of her sister Martha, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  But Mary is also not trying to challenge Jesus or be critical of Him.  In fact, we see Mary demonstrating both faith and worship as she fell at Jesus’ feet while speaking to Him.  And then we see what we may have been expecting all along, Mary breaks down and weeps for the loss of her brother.

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What happened next is very powerful.  Jesus was deeply moved by the emotional pain that was displayed, not only by Mary, but by so many of the people who were also there at the time.  And their grief touched His heart.  And Jesus wept.  When we realize as we stated above that Jesus was the Author of Life itself, then it is extremely significant when we read, “Jesus wept.”

This statement, “Jesus wept,” is so instructive.  There are many false opinions and beliefs around that even if there is a God, that He is not a God who cares.  No, Jesus demonstrated for us that He shares in the pain of someone else who is suffering emotional pain.  And we learn about the heart of God by looking into the heart of Jesus, who was God in the flesh.

And this statement, “Jesus wept,” is also so comforting.  Jesus was so completely human, sharing in all of the range of normal human feelings.  I know that He understands me and my emotions.  He can identify with where I am emotionally.  And being God, He is not only fully aware of what my emotional needs are, He will be able to come and help meet me at my point of need.

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Now I need to ask you to consider your relationship to Jesus.  Have you come to recognize that He is God, who came to live among us as a human?  I pray you have.  That is a good place to start.  Have you bowed in recognition before Jesus as the Son of God, like Mary did so long ago?  That is the path that leads to eternal life with God as Jesus stands as our Saviour, redeeming us from our sins against God.

In this article though, I want to suggest we go one step further.  I encourage all of us to see Jesus as our Friend who will stand by our side in life and who will empathize with us in our times of greatest need.  We all know how important it is to have someone to turn to when our hearts are grieved.  Wouldn’t it make sense to turn to the One who made our hearts?  Just remember these words, “Jesus wept.”

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Jesus Is The Resurrection & The Life

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John 11: 17 – 27

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

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24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,who is to come into the world.”

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As we look into this passage, we will need to keep in mind the cultural and religious background of the Jewish people of the 1st century.  The very first thing we need to consider is the process and issues involved when a person died back then.  There were some cultural groups, such as the Egyptians, who regularly practiced the embalming of dead bodies.  But even for the Egyptians, it would have been done only for the royal families and very rich people.

For a Jewish family then, when someone died, it would be necessary to immediately take care of the body and place it in a grave.  But this would not be a six-foot hole in the ground that we are used to in the West.  So much of the ground of Palestine was rocky ground that it was much more common for the people to dig out caves into the rock face of a hill.  Corpses would be wrapped up in linen clothes along with perfumed spices, and then within the cave/tomb, the bodies would be placed upon carverd out ledges.

We see from verse 17 above, that Lazurus’ body had been in his grave/tomb for four days.  Obviously, the body would have decayed quite a bit by this point and had quite a bad smell.  What is not obvious to us unless we know ancient Jewish culture, was the belief that a person’s spirit might remain nearby for up to three days before finally departing.  And so when John wrote that Lazurus was in the tomb for four days, it would be understood by readers that there would not be any chance for Lazurus’ spirit to rejoin his body and produce a “resurrection”.

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There is no question then that Lazurus was very, very dead.  And yet we see in Martha, who ran immediately to Jesus when she heard that He had arrived close to her town of Bethany, a very strong faith that He had the power to overcome death itself.  Her statement is what is called a “contrafactual” statement and might sound like she is critical of Jesus.  It would read more completely like this: “If you had been here [but you weren’t], then my brother would not have died [but he did].”

Jesus tried to reassure Martha that her “brother will rise again.”  To her credit, Martha agreed that Lazurus would rise again from the dead “at the last day”, which refers to when God would resurrect all people and have them stand before Him on the Day of Judgment.  But Jesus had been given power by God to have control over life and death even now, not just at the end of time.

Jesus went on to speak one of the most powerful statements in all of Scripture, “I am the Resurrection and the Life!”  Wow, what a statement.  But do we really understand all that Jesus is saying in this one statement.  I think not.  Mainly because this statement contains nouns “resurrection” and “life”, and for most of us, we understand verbs (or action words) more than nouns.

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Let me try to unpack this statement by using verbal language then and see if it will bring home better for us the meaning of Jesus’ words.  One way we might translate this could be, “I am the One who causes people to rise again after they have died, and I am the One who causes people to really live.”  The source of real life, both here in this world and in the world to come is found in Jesus.  And access to this life is made possible when one puts his/her faith in Jesus.

Jesus then challenged Martha directly to see if she did possess this kind of faith.  And she did.  As a good Jewish person, she had awaited the coming of the Messiah, the “Promised One of God”, the One who would rescue the nation of Israel, and ultimately all people of the world.  Martha went one step further to recognize that not only was Jesus the coming Savior, He was the Son of God.  Other than Peter, no one else within the Gospels, prior to the resurrection, had made this statement of faith.

What an incredible moment that must have been.  In the midst of great grief, faith rose up within Martha as she stood in front of the One who is the Giver of Life.  She recognized that death was not final, and that Jesus was the One who could overcome death and grant the promise of a resurrected life.  What she didn’t realize was that she would see this come to pass right in front of her that day.  But that part of the story will be next week’s article.

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Jesus A Mere Man, Claimed To Be God!

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John 10:31 – 42

31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. 32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” 33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ 35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ 36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. 

37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. 41 And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” 42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.

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This is a very difficult passage to understand as there is so much going on here that is tied in together with the history and the theology of the Jewish people.  Take for example the reaction of the crowd in verse 31.  What in the world had Jesus done that prompted the people to pick up stones and want to kill him?  And we are not talking little pebbles here, but large stones as big as a grapefruit.  It wouldn’t take many of these to hit a man and kill him.

We must look back at the previous verse, where Jesus said in verse 30, “I and the Father are One.”  It was quickly understood by the Jews that Jesus was not talking about sharing the same purpose of God, but rather the very identity or being of God.  And that would go against one of their most sacred Scriptures of Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear O Israel, the LORD of God, the LORD is one,” and the First Commandment of Exodus 20:2, “You shall have no other gods besides Me.”

Now if we look at the history of Israel after they came out of Egypt in the book of Exodus, we see that they were not very good about keeping these commandments, for they fell so easily into worshipping the many Canaanite gods when they took over the land of Palestine.  They eventually suffered deportation to Babylon and slavery for their polytheistic practices.

    

When they came back from the Exile seventy years later though, they became (for the most) a very devout, even fanatical, monotheistic people.  They had recognized that their worship of false gods had brought about their captivity.  So they would have been greatly opposed to anyone suggesting that any other person other than YHWH (the LORD) could be His equal and worthy of worship and obedience.

The people there had finally caught clearly what Jesus had been alluding to for some time, namely that He was talking about Himself as if He were in fact God.  That’s why they wanted to kill him.  Jesus quickly pointed out again, just like in our last passage, that the miracles that He had been doing should have been enough testimony to His divinity, or at least that God had sent Him to earth as His representative.

    

The people did not accept this though, so Jesus did something that was very Jewish in nature.  He used the Old Testament Scriptures to back up His claim.  This is explained well in “The Translator’s Handbook”:

to assume that Jesus is doing no more than claiming an equal status with the people addressed in that Psalm is to miss the entire point of the passage.  Jesus’ argument is, in fact, a typically rabbinical one by which the speaker argues from the lesser to the greater.

According to the rabbis, Psalm 82 was addressed to Israel when they received the Law at Mount Sinai.  Jesus’ argument proceeds in this way. If those persons who received God’s Law on Mount Sinai could be spoken of as “gods,” how much more can the one whom the Father has chosen and sent into the world claim to be “the Son of God.”

    

I believe that Jesus’ argument for his divinity is logically sound.  But we have to realize that a belief in Jesus as being an equal partner in the Godhead, such that He can say, “the Father is in Me and I am in the Father,” has to accepted at a faith level, and not just at an intellectual level.  There is so much about God, and His nature, that we will never really understand.  At least not until we get to eternity beyond this life.

The question is whether we can accept what Jesus claimed about Himself, or if we dismiss it from the beginning as impossible.  If we are open to consider His claims, then the rest of the story about Jesus’ life, His recorded miracles, the idea of being resurrected back from the dead, also become possible to us.

It is my belief that there is enough corroborating testimony and evidence that what Jesus claimed that He could and would do actually did happen as recorded in the Gospels.  And if He could perform acts (like the miracles, and especially His resurrection) that speak of divine powers, then I can accept His testimony about Himself, that He is in fact Divine.  What do you think?

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Jesus Is Someone You Can Trust – Pt. 2

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“GOD’S STORY, your story” – Pt. 8

At the end of Max Lucado’s book, “GOD’S STORY, your story“, there are study questions and activities to consider that relate to each chapter.  I invite you to read the book, and look over the entire question and application section.  In my articles, I will usually only pick up on two or three questions and relate them to my own experiences.

                                          

Chapter 4: When God’s Story Becomes Yours….
YOU HEAR A VOICE YOU CAN TRUST

Question #1: Create a list of the voices that compete for our attention today.  Discuss how we respond to these voices.

There are so many voices today that cry out for our attention.  There are the needs of one’s family and friends; there is the constant pressure of work; we are bombarded by advertisements to draw us in deeper into our commercial capitalism; and then there are so many voices that cry out to us hedonistically to simply sit back and enjoy the pleasures that this world has to offer.  It can be too much for some of us to bear at times.

That is why I truly believe in the need for a quiet time with God.  I read my Bible most every morning while I eat my breakfast.  I have to eat every morning, and so this helps to give me a routine for spending time in God’s Word.  I also shower just about every day.  And in those 20 minutes of alone time, I keep my eyes closed and allow God to speak to me about what I should do with this day and things I should do in the future.  If nothing else, I do these two things to stay in regular touch with God to help His voice to come through louder than the voices of the world.

Question #4: Some scholars say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  Look up Scriptures that relate to the identity of Jesus.  How do such passages influence your view of who Jesus is?

Mark 2:27-28  And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

Luke 5:20  And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

John 1:1, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 11:43-44  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Philippians 2:8-11  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ThereforeGod has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesusevery knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 1:2-3  But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

2 Peter 1:16-17  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”

Not only did Jesus claim to have authority over religious ritual and over the right to forgive sins, He proved himself by healing many, even bringing Lazarus back from the dead.  He then himself died and rose again from the dead (there is just too much evidence to not belief something supernatural happened at the tomb of Jesus).  And then those cowardly disciples go on to write the other New Testament books that describe Jesus’ Lordship and most of them died for that belief.  I have no other choice but to believe that Jesus really was who He said He was, the very Son of God.

Question #5: What is the best way to have constructive conversations with someone who thinks Jesus was just a good moral teacher?

It is important to help these kind of people to see that Jesus made great claims to divinity.  The verses above, plus much more will show that.  If this is true, then we cannot just say Jesus is a good moral teacher and ignore His claims.  As C.S. Lewis has so aptly pointed out (see Question #3 in the book), if this claim were not true, Jesus would have to either be a lunatic (with self deranged thoughts of grandeur), or He was a liar (and pulled the greatest deception of all time), or He is really the Lord of the Universe.

So a good moral person cannot be also a lunatic or liar.  That leaves us with Jesus being Lord.  If a person can accept what Jesus teaches as being very good for all mankind, then one must also come to the conclusion that Jesus is also able to be the Lord of all mankind.  I have accepted this, and my life has been changed positively ever since.

                                          

[God’s Story, Your Story] Max Lucado.  Copyright [Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011]  Used by permission.

Jesus Is Someone You Can Trust – Pt. 1

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“GOD’S STORY, your story” – Pt. 7

TRUST: “A relationship bond that takes a great number of good deeds to earn, and only one bad deed to lose.”

Trust!  Who do we trust these days?  We trust a mechanic to fix our car when it is not working.  Or do we?  Are we skeptical when we see the estimate and wonder, “Do I really need to fix all these things?”  We trust the professor of a class to impart wisdom and knowledge to us, right?  But what if they are wrong, or biased in what they teach?  We trust the pastor or the priest because they are “men of God”, but then we hear about the various scandals that rock the churches and we realize that they are just as human and flawed as we are.

All of us can identify with this question of “Who can I really trust?”  In the consumer market world that we live in, we are bombarded by advertisements and the voices of many who are asking us to trust them, and trust the product or service that they are trying to offer us.  Now for the most part, these many voices are asking us to make decisions that are somewhat trivial, like what shampoo to buy, and where to take our vacation, etc.

But what about the really important questions of life?  For example, “Why are we here?”, “Is there a God?”, and “What happens after we die?”  These are the questions that really matter in life, and so we must be careful as we choose whose voice to listen to regarding eternal and spiritual questions.  There are still many voices out there crying for our attention, but one voice above all must be given a chance to be heard.  And that is the voice and the words of Jesus in the New Testament.

    

 This is now the 7th article in this series, “GOD’S STORY, your story” as we look at the book with this title written by Max Lucado.  In chapter four, Lucado starts by sharing a true story about a pilot of a small aircraft who had a mild stroke while flying and lost his sight.  An air force jet pilot was sent up to help guide the man down on to an airstrip by voice alone.  It took eight attempts, but the blinded pilot was able to safely land his airplane.  How did he do it?  By listening carefully to the voice of the man who he literally had put his life into his hands.

Now many good things are said about Jesus.  Many say he was a good man who helped others.  They would say that Jesus is one of the best teachers of morals and ethics.  Look at the “Sermon on the Mount” for example in Matthew chapters 5-7.  Some world religions other than Christianity would even say that Jesus is one of their prophets.  This is not new, for even in Jesus’ day there were people saying that Jesus was perhaps Elijah or John the Baptist come back from the dead, or another great prophet.  (Matthew 16:13-15)

But Jesus challenged his disciples even more (and us today) when he asked the question, “But who do you say that I am?”  And to answer that for ourselves today, we would need to look very carefully at what Jesus did and said so long ago.  Certainly we notice, even in just a casual reading, that Jesus was one who performed great miracles.  He healed many people.  In fact, he made the blind to see again, the lame could walk, and even those who had died and were buried were raised back to life.  (Read 11:38 – 12:11 and notice how even Jesus’ enemies admitted that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead.)

    

Now follow along with what Lucado says about Jesus on pages 72-73:

Jesus commanded people to pray in his name (John 14:13-14).  He claimed to be greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6), greater than the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8).  He claimed his words would outlive heaven and earth (Mark 13:31) and that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him (Matthew 28:18-20).

And what about his “I AM” statements?  “I am the light of the world.”  “I am the bread of life,” “the resurrection and the life,” and “the way, the truth, and the life.”  And most stunning, “Before Abraham was born, I am!”

By claiming the “I AM” title, Jesus was equating himself with God.

 It is interesting how some people can be okay with Jesus being a good moral teacher, and maybe even credit him with the ability to perform miracles.  But when we look at the verbal claims made by Jesus, we are faced with two stunning and opposite choices.  Either Jesus was an egomaniac and delusionally deranged!  Or, Jesus was who he actually claimed to be, namely, the very Son of God come down to live among people.

    

Given these two choices, I have chosen to believe that Jesus is God’s Son.  And not just because he “claimed” to be God’s Son, and not even because he did perform some great miracles.  I rest my faith in Jesus ultimately on the fact that he rose again from the dead after being crucified on a cross.  There is just too much proof in the New Testament that this event of Jesus’ resurrection was not a hoax, or just a misunderstanding of his physical condition.  No, Jesus rose from the grave and proved himself to be God in the flesh.

And so, when it comes to the question of who do I ultimately trust with my life and my eternal future?  There is only one really excellent choice, and that is to trust in Jesus.  We may not be able to see into our future (like not seeing the runway), but Jesus will safely guide us to our eternal destination.

[God’s Story, Your Story] Max Lucado.  Copyright [Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011]  Used by permission.

Jesus Knows Our Hearts Well

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Jesus: Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent

John 1:43 – 51

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. 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 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 there is no deceit!”  48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”  50 Jesus answered 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, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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This short passage looks deceivingly simple. One of the first disciples that Jesus called out to follow him, Philip, quickly got excited and went to find a friend of his, Nathaniel. And Philip told Nathaniel that he believed that he had found the Great Prophet, the man whom God had promised that He would send one day. (Read Deuteronomy 18:18)

Nathaniel is sceptical at first, but still comes. Then after a short dialog, he too finds himself putting his trust in Jesus and also believes that Jesus is God’s Son, the one who would usher in the Kingdom of God and bring salvation to all the Jews. Even greater than what Philip said, Nathaniel believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

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As I read this, I ask myself this question: what happened and caused this critic of Jesus to become a crusader for Jesus. I think we can possibly see part of the answer in the opinion Nathaniel gives regarding the fact that Jesus came from Nazareth. And Nathaniel can’t believe that someone as Great as the Messiah would come from this unimportant town in the Province of Galilee.

But the very fact of his disappointment shows that Nathanial had in the past held some hopes and beliefs that the Messiah would actually come one day. He just wasn’t prepared to believe at first that this Messiah would come out of Nazareth. And that I think is a clue for why people still yet don’t put their trust in Jesus.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in a dirty, smelly barn and shared his first days in the midst of these stinky old barn animals. Then later, when Joseph took his family to Nazareth, Jesus grew up as the son of a carpenter, and he learned that trade. So people today still cannot accept that the God of the Universe could ever have come out of this simple humble beginning.

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But notice what happened when Nathaniel came and met Jesus. Even as Nathaniel is walking up, Jesus makes a statement to show that He has insight into what kind of man was coming to greet him. Jesus said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” This was a rather bold statement by Jesus. But think how amazed Nathaniel must have been if this statement about him was true, that he was an honest and pure-hearted man.

When Nathaniel asked Jesus how He knew him, Jesus said to him, “When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Now since Nathaniel had indeed been sitting under the fig tree before Philip had called him, then Nathanial knew also that this man Jesus not only was omniscient and knew what was in his mind, but Jesus was also omnipresent, to be able to actually be somewhere else and see the place where Nathanial had been sitting.

Wow!! What a shock to the system! How unnerving! And yet remember, we saw hints that Nathaniel had probably been looking intently before to find the Messiah. Just that in every other case he only found disappointment. But this time was different and with the little knowledge he had about Jesus, it was enough to convince him that Jesus was God’s Son.

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What’s really cool, is that after Jesus demonstrated his ability of omniscience and omnipresence, He goes on to describe to the men how He too is also omnipotent. These first demonstrations of Jesus were fantastic for sure, but He says that the disciples will witness much greater and more powerful things than this. And He was right. As you look through each Gospel, you see Jesus giving sight to the blind, making the lame to walk, casting out evil spirits from people, and even raising people from the dead.

Yes, this is my Jesus. This is the Man whom I fell in love with, just as these early disciples did so long ago. I believe and have seen Him do mighty things in my lives and in others lives too. I know that He is always with me, ready to strengthen and comfort me. And last of all, and just as important. I know that He knows my every thought.

For some, that would be a scary thing. But for me, it is a constant reminder for me to follow the path of righteousness. For I do not ever want my Lord to know my thoughts and see that I am not being fully committed to Him as my Lord. No, I want Him to be pleased with me as I lean on Him, as I follow after Him, and as I allow Him to control me and my inner most thoughts. Thank you Jesus.