The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there,
he ran across Philip and said, "Come, follow me." (Philip's
hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, "We've found
the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets.
It's Jesus , Joseph's son, the one from Nazareth!"
Nathanael said, "Nazareth? You've got to be kidding."
But Philip said, "Come, see for yourself."
When Jesus saw him coming he said, "There's a real Israelite,
not a false bone in his body."
Nathanael said, "Where did you get that idea? You don't
Jesus answered, "On day, long before Philip called you here,
I saw you under the fig tree."
Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the
King of Israel!"
Jesus said, "You've become a believer simply because I say
I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven't seen
anything yet! Before this is over you're going to see heaven
open and God's angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending
This is the first Sunday I'll be preaching at Fifth Avenue and
I have decided to not follow the lectionary for this Sunday but
to use John 13:31-35 and to follow the much of John Wesley's
sermon #92, "On Zeal."
Hopefully there will be a connection with "Come, see for
yourself" from this lection.
How would you connect this to Zechariah 3:8-10 (NRSV)
"Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues
who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I
am going to bring my servant the Branch. For on the stone that
I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets,
I will engrave its inscription, says the Lord of hosts, and I
will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. On that day,
says the Lord of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under
your vine and fig tree."
Do you think you are being seen beyond your guilt? Do you sense
yourself being invited to be with others called to pass on guilt
removal for there is plenty of room under the fig tree symbolism,
atop the mountain of peace imagery? Is your life an omen of good
yet to be?
Can you see the life-change from rule-enforcer to setter-free-from-guilt
going on in your life?
Can we see in others that they, too, will sit under the vine
and fig tree? That we will be at one with each other? Do you
think/feel it would make difference if we had this ultimate picture
of one another? If you do, how might you begin practicing this
To be seen as sitting in peace and to be invited to join building
that peace is enough to change one's life. May it be so in your