A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute…
©Sophia Lorena Benjamin
The Word of God has promises of great hope. That very Word also documents some of the great acts performed by the hand of God.
Most people in Nazareth would have read these accounts for an indefinitely long period. Yet many must have read them as part of a daily ritual or as a good story to narrate. After all we are talking of powerful, moving, heroic narratives. The dramatic story of Moses, the courage filled story of Joshua, the strong faith of Abraham, the inspiring story of Isaac, the deception linked story of Jacob, the heroic redemption of Joseph, the compelling story of anointing and pain of David – each of them a classic, blockbuster, cinematic experiences that would leave viewers spellbound.
Readers must have been reading and narrating these stories from one generation to the next, as part of the daily routine, going through the motions of life or as an occasional reverence with things pertaining to God, and in all probability as a ritualistic norm, a pattern that confined the written Word to no more than mere text.
Were they at fault? Let’s face it! We all have days when believing for a real miracle like the ones we read in the Word of God can be daunting.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”
That’s probably the setting where Nazareth seems to have been in the first chapter of John. Sedate. Complacent, Uneventful. It somehow justifies Nathaniel’s unbelieving reaction when Philip shares breaking news that the one that the prophets foretold is found in Nazareth.
Nathaniel, whom Jesus later declared as someone with no deceit, must have been a man reading the Word of God, knowing about the power of God, but not really believing to see it happening for himself or for the people from his uneventful, boring, town, Nazareth.
May be his perception, along with many others was that the prophesied Savior would come from some prominent town, in a most royal way.
Nathaniel’s mind seems ingrained with judgment and assumption which may have prevented him from trusting that the time to behold a divine prophecy being fulfilled has come, that the time for great testimonies, like in the ancient days to be recorded again has come.
Even from a distance Jesus can assess Nathaniel’s predicament and the compassionate master, known to break into hopeless situations, directly advances towards Nathaniel.
Puzzled and overwhelmed, Nathaniel asks. “How do you know me?”
Jesus tells him, “I saw you while you were under the fig tree.”
As he listens to Jesus, Nathaniel gets the revelation, Jesus knows every detail of his life. Nathaniel believes and confesses that Jesus is the Son of God.
I believe, it is Nathaniel’s, simple, childlike, unquestioned belief that compels Jesus to prophesy over his life, that God will show him greater things, just like in the ancient days.
The savior instantly promises, “You shall see greater things”.
It’s a promise documented in the New Testament for all of us to know that believing in the master’s words and assurance, even in the midst of uneventful times can break the yoke of a compromising mindset.
When yokes break faith will be produced.
That simple, childlike faith will prepare space for Jesus to manifest miracles from the written Word to real Life.
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
John 1 (vs. 44- 46)(NIV)