In John 1:43-51 Philip, who had just met Jesus and was all excited, went and found Nathanael. Instead of being all excited about the discovery of the Messiah, Nathanael’s response was “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip then convinces him to come and see, and when Jesus sees Nathanael, His response is “an Israelite in whom there is no deceit”.
Now we find that Nathanael was previously just hanging out, under a fig tree, probably watching ESPN or SportsCenter. He didn’t really want to be bothered with getting up to see another false messiah. We know there were others claiming to be the messiah from Acts 5:34-39. So his skeptical response, could possibly be understood. When he reluctantly agrees to go and see, as soon as Jesus tells him one thing, Nathanael is ready to believe. Old Nate has no idea the ride he is in for.
How many times are we like that? We would rather hang out and watch ESPN than get up and go where Jesus is. But then when someone convinces us to go, we see – once again- and realize that nothing on this earth compares.
Tell your youth director you would like to burn a few vacation days and volunteer with VBS. Call up the local food pantry and see if your family can help this weekend. If we are truly ready to follow Jesus, I think we will see “greater things than these”.
Following Jesus means a lot more than just “not doing the wrong things”. It means a lot more than “don’t lie, don’t steal…uhh..what were the other ones?” Nathanael wasn’t a liar, Jesus Himself said so. But initially, he wasn’t ANYTHING. Following Jesus means to also “do the right thing”. To do SOMETHING.