Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday Within the Octave of the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 9, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 1:43-51 (NKJV)
1:43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
We pick up where we left off yesterday. We continue to see the Word used as means to call people as Philip uses the Word to bring Nathaniel to Christ.
But something interesting happens when Nathaniel meets Christ. The Lord is able to tell Nathaniel of his activities under the fig tree–an event we can assume no one but Nathaniel knew of–demonstrating Jesus to be divine and knowing all things. Because of this, Nathaniel believes, yet it is only the beginning of what is to come. By the end of His ministry, Jesus will demonstrate His divine power by defeating sin and the devil on the cross, and rising victorious over death at His resurrection.
If we doubt like Nathaniel did, the Lord is still able to show through His Word the awesome power of His might. And we see the divine power of Jesus Christ whenever He brings a sinner to faith by His Word and Sacraments. This story of Nathaniel resembles the story of the woman at the well when she told the crowd that Jesus had known everything she had done. Jesus knows our sin and doubt, and yet saves us from that sin by His own means of Word and Sacrament.
Prayer: O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thine Only-Begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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