Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How do you know me? John 1:43-51

Jesus called his first followers to come follow him. Peter was first, then his brother Andrew. Next Philip who He invited Nathanael saying

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.
Nathanael was unconvinced,
Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?
Jesus greeting surrprised him,
Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.
 Nathanael was taken by surprise,
How do you know me?
This question could come from anyone's mouth meeting a stranger who seemed to already know him. The real God was there. Jesus knew him. Nathanael realized, in this moment, that Jesus knew him and had always known him. He was and always had been in God's presence and now he knew for certain that God was at work in this one, in this man Jesus. He had always know him just as he's always known all people. Jesus answered his question simply,
I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.
Nathanael declared faith in Jesus knowing that God was and is really on the move in the person of Jesus. His words of faith
Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.
Jesus responded to his words of faith,
You believe a because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that. I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. Scripture from John 1:43-50 NIV
Jesus had inside knowledge of their souls and he has the same inside knowledge of each person today. We, like Jesus first followers say we believe in a god who knows and sees all. And God's transcendence catches us by surprise. He's known our every move and our every failure. Matt Changler explained transendence in a January 2011 Sermon entitled The Just Judge on Habbakkuk.
In the end, God is a just judge who will judge everyone. Let me show you some Scripture. Job 28:24, “For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” Psalm 69:5, “O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.” There’s going to be this rhythm established here that there’s no such thing as a secret. That is a myth. Everything you think, everything you do, every place you go is seen by God. One of the reasons we are so comfortable in our sin is because we have lost a respect for the presence of God. It’s much harder to stare at a computer screen with your pants around your ankles if you’re aware that God sees and is in the room. Isaiah 40:26-28, “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” So here is Isaiah's argument to Israel. “Look up at the stars. It is God who calls them out, it is God who places them, it is God who names them and tells them at what temperature to burn, where they are to stay. It is God’s power and His might that has done such a thing.” And then he asks them a question based on this power. “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” God sees everything, and those things you got away with when you were a teenager, you cannot get away with now.
Jesus is God. He knows each human being. He is the one individual in the universe from whom no secrets are hid; he is the one who can cleanse our hearts and renew us. He is God who searches us out heart and soul body and mind. He's well acquaitned with our failures and our every success because Jesus has been with us in the middle of it all. He is the one who offered His life in place of ours who knows what we trully need both on this earth in this life and beyond. Those who hear God's call to come and follow have already been known inside and out. His invitation is to come and see heaven open as God works in our world.
May all who hear God's call come to know him as He already knows each of us. AMEN.
Pax, John

No comments: