Day 14 - Philip and Nathanael: a ‘bringer’ and the ‘brought’

Read: John 1:43-51

THEME: The first two chapters of John’s Gospel record significant encounters at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Meetings that were noteworthy for Jesus were even more important for those He met.

Philip, like Andrew, was a ‘bringer’. Andrew had brought Simon Peter to Jesus and in their later ministry Andrew and Philip continued as ‘bringers’, often working together. Philip was involved at the feeding of the five thousand when Andrew brought the boy with his loaves and fish to Jesus, and shortly before the cross it was left to Philip and Andrew to try to introduce some Greeks to Him.

Philip’s career as a bringer began the day he met Jesus. He wasted no time at all in seeking out Nathanael who greeted his enthusiasm over Jesus with a sceptical response. Philip had described Jesus as the fulfilment of the Old Testament law and the prophets but when he had added that he came from Nazareth, Nathaniel had exclaimed ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’

Philip’s ‘come and see’ strategy then worked well. As they approached Jesus together, Jesus commended Nathanael for his lack of guile and, after the briefest of exchanges, Nathanael was saying to Jesus, ‘You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.’

Jesus responded by saying that Nathanael would see even greater things, speaking of a wide-open heaven with the Son of Man (an interestingly humble re-identification given Nathanael’s use of ‘Son of God’) facilitating a flow of angelic ministry between earth and heaven. Surely there is a link here between guilelessness and truly seeing the power of God.

Let us maintain the integrity that opens the way for true demonstrations of God’s power.