Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Second Day after the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 8, 2022 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.”
Jesus said, “You will see greater things.” And indeed, through the whole Gospel of John, Nathanael, with all the disciples, sees greater and greater things in the works of Jesus; from water turned into wine to the raising of Lazarus. These are indeed great things, but the greatest was yet to come.
This is how it will be for us during these next few weeks in the season of Epiphany. We will hear of Jesus casting out demons and healing the sick, greater and greater things, until we come to the glorious manifestation of the Lord Jesus’ divinity in the Transfiguration. But the greatest remains: Jesus opening heaven for us by dying in our place on the cross.
This is a sight which can be hard to look at because our sin has caused it, but it is also beautiful to the eyes of faith. It is the greatest thing of all: Christ crucified for us! Here we see the very heart of God–His fatherly love for us, His grace and mercy for us–in the forgiveness of all of our sin. On the cross Jesus fulfills the promise that we will “see heaven opened.” We’ve seen the greater things, indeed!
Prayer: O God, Who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thy 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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