You ain’t seen nothing yet

The Gospel text for Sunday is from John 1:43-51.  This is the account of Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael.  Jesus tells Philip to “Follow me” and he does (maybe not literally at first) and goes to find Nathanael.  Upon hearing that this “prophet” is from Nazareth Nathanael promptly asks, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Nazareth seemed like such an unlikely place for a prophet to come from, but Philip says, “Come and see“.  Nathanael does “come and see” and what he sees is a “prophet” who knew more about him than he thought.  Nathanael is so amazed at what he hears he immediately makes a confession of faith; “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”  Nathanael makes this confession of faith based on what he hears but Jesus basically says, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” (Jesus actually used better grammar than that but I thought it fit).

Our evangelistic efforts with people involves more than just telling people about Jesus, but it should also include showing people Jesus.
We do this through our actions.
We do this through bring them to worship where we experience Jesus in the preached Word and the sacraments.
We show people Jesus through the fellowship of other believers.
We show people Jesus through service.
Telling people about Jesus is one thing…but they ain’t seen nothing yet.

Nathanael didn’t believe until he experienced Jesus first hand.  And even then; even during that first encounter he hadn’t experienced truly who Jesus was.
That is why we keep coming back.
That is why we don’t just read the Bible once.
That is why we worship each and every week.
One encounter with Jesus is great, but if you liked that then you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Come and see” is great advice…but remember to keep coming and to keep seeing.  For as Jesus says “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

-edh-

2 thoughts on “You ain’t seen nothing yet

  1. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? There certainly is a “small-town-ism” that is still alive today. I think that some of the initial skepticism about Sarah Palin by the media, ie mostly big city based, fell into that category. [Too bad that she proved that correct, but not because she was from a small town.] I’m sure you’ve seen this yourself, perhaps in an assumption that why would anybody with that much schooling be content to be in a small town church? Or if that ____ (principal, doctor, community leader) is in a small town, then there must be some reason, ie, not good enough to make it in a larger place.

    Maybe there is more to this in the Gospel, based on something in Nazareth’s history. Maybe all those towns were small in those days.

    But I’m convinced that a small town and small school has to potential to bring out the potential in more people than does a city or large school. I went to the largest high school in a 5 state area and I can tell you that I and 90% of the students were nobodys. For good or ill, it is hard to be a nobody in a small town.

    This might not have much to do with your point or the point of the whole story, except for one thing: in a small town, your witness is what you do, not just what you say, because everybody knows you and sees you, so you would have a hard time being a fraud.

  2. I may not have been talking expressly about this but I can see that message in the text. I grew up in a small town so I can relate. And I have heard the “Nazareth” comment connected to where I have gone to school…”Can anything good come out of Moorhead STATE?” “He didn’t go to a Lutheran college.” Sometimes we think bigger is better or that where you live or went to school is the only indication of the kind of person you are. It just goes to show you that people need to give people a chance and not judge them based on some ridiculous criteria.

    Thanks for the comment.

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