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Sunday, January 16, 2011

1/17/11- John 1:47-51 A Use of a Compliment

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

(Calling of Phillip and Nathanael- William Hole c. 1906)

Thoughts: Jesus who knew Nathanael was under the fig tree, and knew Nathanael's character also no doubt knew (and maybe even overheard) that Nathanael had just said, "Can any thing good come out of Nazareth?"  Yet Jesus did not slight him, but melted his anathema with a compliment.  In the end Nathanael would see God's presence in Jesus as well as in his works and teachings.  If anyone had a right to be afronted, it would be Jesus who was both innocent and totally powerful; Jesus swallowed any desire to strike back showing his grace, mercy and patience.  So we too should be kind to those who criticize us, our family, or our town/land. 

Prayer: Thank you for your patience with me, O Lord.  May I find patience with others. 

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