“And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” ~ John 1:46
In John 1:43-51, we find a story of Jesus assembling the 12 disciples. In this particular instance, Jesus seeks Philip, who accepts His invitation to follow Him. In turn, Philip follows Christ and showcases his faith by seeking out Nathaniel. The great think Godet writes, “One torch serves to light another torch.”
When Philip invites Nathaniel to see Jesus, Nathaniel responds with a Jewish stigma of that day. He asks if anything good could possibly come from Nazareth, a place that many regarded with some sense of filth. On top of this, Nathaniel was from a Cana, another Gallielan town and it was common to have a rivalry.
Philip retorts with the same thing Jesus had said earlier to the disciples, “Come and see.”
It turns out Jesus already knew Nathaniel intimately. He speaks of the fig tree which in Jewish culture usually refers to peace.Jesus addresses Nathaniel as a peaceful person. Many Jews prayed under fig trees for shade, peace, and to be hidden as they commune with God.
Jesus knew Nathaniel’s deepest thoughts and many regarded Nathaniel as an ideal Jewish figure historically. Does it surprise you that Jesus Himself is telling someone to “come and see” Him? It seems so counterintuitive to how we as Christians think; we are raised on verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:17 and John 20:29 which emphasize faith oversight.
But a relationship with God has not always operated and or been available this way. Throughout Scripture, people have walked with God, literally (Adam and Eve; Enoch). Many people were guided by the laying of eyes on a Pillar of Smoke, which guided them (The Israelites). Early believers, despite being under the Law, had faith because they saw Jesus and the early Church saw many miracles.
But when grace was poured out and the signs, sights, and supporting pieces concluded, the Christian no longer walked according to “come and see,” the Christian lives by “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We walk with God, but its not in the cool of the day like Adam and Eve. Its in the thick and thin. We don’t follow a Pillar of Smoke, we follow Scripture. We don’t need signs, because it is finished.
That which is perfect has come and God’s grace is sufficient for all that we see. All that we don’t see. For all of our needs.
Grace. Is. Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).