Gospel: Jn 1:47-51
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.” Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Many times we don’t recognize people we’ve met before. Maybe the reason is the sinking feeling that we are just not aware enough of our surroundings in general and in particular not mindful enough of the people we meet. They come and go without much thoughtfulness. For most human failings, there is a biblical character to provide company for our misery. In the gospel, it’s Nathanael. Jesus already knows him. As Nathanael walks toward Jesus, Jesus describes him: “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” (1:47) It seems like a straightforward description based on his knowledge of Nathanael. Nathanael says, in effect, “I don’t believe we’ve met.” Where did you get to know me? He is so moved by Jesus’ prior knowledge of him that he makes a confession of faith. In our lives, every time we approach Jesus, it is in the context of his prior knowledge about us. Jesus already knows us, even if we have no recollection of many of our prior encounters with him, even if we do not name or recognize his presence and efforts at the depths of our lives. Every time we recognize his presence in ourselves and others, in events and moments, it is because we have moved from the sinking feeling of non-awareness to greater awareness of God’s presence in our lives.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018