Robert Griffith | 24 May 2024
Robert Griffith
24 May 2024

 

John 1:45-46   “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.”

Most of us get an immediate sense of unease when we consider discussing our faith. We use excuses such as inadequacy or lack of knowledge about the Bible to justify not sharing Christ with others. Nevertheless, it becomes much more approachable for us when you learn how Jesus and His disciples spread the Good News. Here we are confronted with the straightforward invitation, “Come and see,” twice in the opening chapter of John’s gospel.

The first time, according to the Bible, was when Jesus asked Andrew and a different disciple – possibly John – to visit where He was staying. They spent the remainder of the day with Jesus. It wasn’t a demanding or intimidating invitation. It was only an invitation to come and look around. From what John the Baptist had informed them, they were curious about who Jesus was, so Jesus invited them to come and see for themselves. Andrew was so certain that Jesus was the Messiah after spending a day with him that he went in search of his brother Simon, told him, and brought him to Jesus as well.

Philip received an invitation to follow Christ the next day. He shared the same hometown as Simon Peter and Andrew. Similar to Andrew, Philip also came to believe that Jesus was the Messiah to the extent that he sought out his close friend Nathanael and declared, “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 not one to be persuaded lightly. He doubted the fervour of his friend and wondered aloud if anything good could come from Nazareth? It appears that Nathanael was aware of biblical prophecy, as he posed a valid question. Not in Nazareth, but in Bethlehem, was the Messiah to be born. Given that Jesus was born in Nazareth, how could he be the Messiah? Philip simply said, “Come and see,” as opposed to challenging him on a theological point.

The simplicity of that invitation is wonderful. It makes sharing the gospel so much easier. Rather than trying to convince someone of who Christ is, simply invite them to check it out for themselves.  Each of these men were transformed when they did, but they didn’t try to persuade others based on their own experience. All they did was challenge them to do their own research and come to their own conclusion. That relieves so much of the pressure!