Pause for thought
As we pause today, we join with the praise of all God's people in these words from Psalm 20.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
(Psalms 20:1-2, 7)
Bible Reading: John 1:43-49
Finding Philip, Jesus said to him, "Follow me."
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.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him,
"Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit."
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."
Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel."
I wonder when your Christian journey began and who helped you to start that journey. Was it through your parents, maybe with prayers at bedtime? Was it through Sunday School, Church Services or a Youth Club? Was it through conversations with a friend or a colleague?
Whenever it was that you think your Christian journey began; it appears from Nathanael’s experience that it began even earlier!
The call of Jesus’ disciples was not the same for each of them, but in many cases, as with Philip in today’s verses, it seems the initiative actually started with Jesus. We are told Jesus found Philip and said to him ‘Follow me.’ Then, when Philip told Nathanael, ‘We have found the Messiah’ and took him to Jesus, Jesus said to Nathanael, ‘I saw you…before Philip called you’.
God said a similar thing about the prophet Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5).
Like Nathanael and Jeremiah, God saw you, God knew you and God was calling you, even before you started to respond and to discover more about him. Just as Jesus took the initiative to come to earth, God takes the initiative and calls us. We respond to his call by choosing to follow him and to say with Nathanael, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God.’
Lord Jesus, I am amazed that you knew me and called me, even before I was born.
Help me to respond to your call each and every day.
God of grace