The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip’s hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”
But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”
When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.”
Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.”
Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”
Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.” // John 1:43–51, The Message
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the smallest, most insignificant, act of faith can have HUGE repercussions? I bet you can think of a time when you did something that you thought was not “a big deal” but it meant the world to someone else. Or maybe you can think of a time when the shoe was on the other foot.
Small acts of faith or love leave lasting impact on those around us.
I love this story for some many reasons. Nathanael’s response is absolutely priceless, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding!” Jesus was a dude that came from a place that was on the wrong side of the olive tree. Nathanael just couldn’t believe his brother Phillip was telling him that the Messiah had come from Nazareth, that was too much to be true.
Then Nathanael’s response to Jesus after being complimented! “You don’t know me!” Nate was one suspicious guy! It just makes me smile. It points to the humanity of all this. Can’t you see this all playing out in your mind’s eye?
When Jesus says, “I saw you under a fig tree…” Nathanael is blown away. Jesus’ response is great, “You ain’t seen nothing yet son…”
This whole interaction is just full of wit, humor, and leaves us with the simple truth: A small step of faith opens a door wide to limitless possibilities.
As I was reading this story this morning I could not help but have images of Doctor Who run through my mind. Doctor Who is a science fiction show from the BBC. It’s been on TV for decades and it’s pretty darn good, if you like sci-fi. The Doctor’s time machine is called The T.A.R.D.I.S., which stands for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space.” This T.A.R.D.I.S. is an old blue English Police Box. It doesn’t look like much. The running gag through the whole show is that the T.A.R.D.I.S. is bigger on the inside. When you step inside this seemingly inauspicious police box you are stepping into an existence where time and space have few limits. The question always before you is, “WHEN and WHERE do you want to go next?” To have the adventure you simply step inside.
This is what I imagine Jesus was saying to Nathanael in that moment. Your one little act of faith has opened before you an existence like you’ve never thought possible.
Every day that we wake up and choose to enter in with just a little bit of faith is another day where we can live expectantly.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “I came that they might have life and have it to the full.”
Jesus also says here in John 1, “You ain’t seen nothing yet…”
I think part of living life to the full is living each day in wonder, awe, and expecting the unexpected. To live life like that requires a pinch of faith and a step out the door.
Let’s live each day in the Jesus reality, that reality where we ain’t seen nothing yet!