“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 1:48-49 NLT
In every love story, there is a moment of recognition where one soul sees into the soul of another and finds a place to rest and call home. For many, like Nathaniel, it can be on the very first meeting. A look, something said, the sound of a voice, it’s familiar and the stirring is deeply felt. Like all love stories, these moments are personal, characterized by tenderness, and unexplainable to anyone else.
Matthew was a tax collector. While in the middle of a work day, sitting at a tax booth, he looked up to see Jesus stop in front of him. He said, “Follow me!” Matthew got up from the table and never looked back. There was instant recognition somewhere deep inside. Something had awakened.
On another occasion, Jesus walked down a road and called up to a man in the tree. He called this lone sheep by name. Zacchaeus. The surprised man in the tree responded instantly and received Jesus joyfully into his home. He couldn’t help himself and lost all sense that he might be the talk of the town.
One earlier day, Jesus went into Galilee to find a man named Philip. The call was the same. “Follow me,” Jesus said. And he did. Philip went to find Nathaniel who questioned him about the validity of any man from Nazareth being good, worthy of following. But upon meeting Jesus for himself, that same moment of recognition happened between the two of them. Nathaniel’s spirit, quickened by the reaction to Jesus’ words, came to life. Words of new faith came out like a torrent.
When my last breath is drawn on this earth and I open my eyes on the shores of heaven, the thing I look forward to most is hearing Jesus welcome me home – by name. None will have said ‘Christine’ quite like him. How many times will He say to me, “Christine, I saw you when you were . . . “ All the times I felt like I’d been alone will be healed in the presence of a love that had always been faithful.
Your voice can be heard in Scripture; it is also heard deep in my spirit. It speaks loudly, even in the sounds of nature. To all who recognize You as the One who spoke, we are forever changed. Amen