“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” John 1:46-49 NLT
No one has ever fallen in love with Jesus through the intimate stories of someone else’s faith encounter. At best, the story inspired them and then opened the door for them to seek Jesus for themselves. Philip knew that Nathaniel would only be convinced about the Messiah if he saw Him personally. That’s why he urged him, “Come and see.”
For Philip, the unmerited favor of God had just intersected his personal history and brought an experience the likes of which he would never forget. Nothing in the future would eclipse the memory. As he ran to Nathaniel, he knew that in just moments, the veil that limited Nathanael’s spiritual eyesight would be lifted as well. He and Jesus would also engage in a personal discussion that would rock his world.
Are such defining moments possible today for the one who asks Jesus to reveal Himself to them? Yes. There are moments that become mountaintops; encounters that become a Bethel. These are not limited to unbelievers seeking to be saved. They are also for believers who have settled for monotony, who are trying to live on yesterday’s manna. We are to seek, listen, and pursue God relentlessly. The glory of Jesus will surprise us again and again at unsuspecting times. An ordinary day will be turned upside down as the eternal penetrates the temporal. God’s glory will fill our field of vision and earth’s trinkets will no longer impress us nor satisfy what it is we’re really craving.
Those around us may not see what we see but we know it is a holy moment. We’ll take our shoes off even as we remember it. In the afterglow, we’ll live dazed by the memory and tremble in the distraction of it. Such is the condition of anyone who has seen God pass by and stopped to worship and be loved.
We know it’s hard to capture it in words and tell someone else what happened. That’s why we join the many other evangelists through the ages to say, “Come and see for yourself.”
Lord, commune with us today in a place that doesn’t need words. Come to the ones we’ve been praying for who haven’t seen You yet. Amen