Epiphany 2 (B) Written by Revd Michael Freeman
Last time you went out for a walk, whether for permitted exercise or essential shopping, how observant were you? When you got home, could you have recalled how many people you had seen walking their dog, or how many kinds of bird you had come across?
The story of Nathaniel is about how much we really notice and understand about the people or things we encounter.
The name Nathaniel means a man who sees God, but when his friend Philip tells him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth,” Nathaniel can’t see there can be anything special about anyone from Nazareth. It was the last place the long-promised Messiah might come from.
But Philip insists, “Come and see.” Come and look properly, and take notice of what you see.
We sometimes use the expression “seeing is believing”. That is true in the sense that to believe Jesus is (as Nathaniel eventually saw) our teacher and king and the Son of God, means seeing beyond surface appearances to the inner reality.
So we too need to be ready to take more than a quick glance at Jesus and the claims Christians make about him. We have to be ready to come and see – to take a really close look – by reading our Bibles, especially the gospels, and by trying to walk alongside Jesus by heeding his teaching and example.
If we can do that we can truly come to know him, and will find that the promise made to Nathaniel is made to us as well, a message of hope we all need at this time: “You will see yet greater things; you will see heaven open.”