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 is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.’
‘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.’
When we go away for a break, one of our favourite pastimes is watching people. We are always happy to park ourselves at a table, with a drink and a view outside, and watch the rest of the world as it passes by.
In no way are we judging anyone. We are merely interested in the way that other people live their lives, or rather that part of it which we can observe. Being nosey is how a friend has interpreted it, but that is too harsh a description.
We have recently returned from a holiday with friends who enjoy similar relaxation. Their family call this social observation Kippering, which is a much better description.
Of course, we can only observe the external behaviours of passers-by. We cannot see their inner values or beliefs. But Jesus can.
Jesus sees our inner self. He looks into our hearts and sees everything about us. He knows the thoughts and intentions that lie there. This can sound very worrying, because we all have plenty of thoughts and motivations that we prefer not to have. This is something much deeper than Kippering.
Yet Jesus looks into our hearts and sees how beautiful we are. Through his death he has cleared away our sins, and sees instead the amazing things that we can do. That’s why he wants to spend time with us.
If only everyone else could see such beauty in others.
Thank you, God, for looking into our hearts and seeing our beauty.
Help us to see it too, in ourselves and in the people around us.