[Jesus] said to [Philip], “Follow me.”
Now I don’t think we would say this out loud, but do you ever wonder, “Is Jesus really worth following?” I mean, we have access to the latest and greatest ideas, philosophies, and scientific discoveries. Sure, Jesus said and did some great things, but isn’t he just one great thinker among many? What could Jesus really offer, when we have access to so many other great leaders?
If you have ever had such thoughts, you’re not alone. When Jesus called his first disciples, there was a man named Nathaniel. When his friend Philip invited him to come and see Jesus of Nazareth, Nathaniel replied, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46). Nathaniel wondered why he should go see someone from some no-name town, born into a no-name family. What could he possibly offer Nathaniel? Jesus wasn’t from Jerusalem, the place of great scholarship and clout; he was just from some insignificant town in the north.
Nevertheless, Nathaniel did concede and went to see Jesus, and when he did, he was surprised. Jesus didn’t rebuke him for asking his skeptical question. In fact, he almost praised him, calling Nathaniel “a true Israelite in whom there is nothing false.” Then Jesus told him that he knew him and saw him, when he was sitting under a fig tree before Philip spoke to him.
Hearing Jesus’ words, Nathaniel realized and believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the one God sent to bring salvation.
Even after Nathaniel’s change of heart, Jesus had more to say. He told Nathaniel, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:50-51).
Jesus was saying, “Nathaniel, I’m not only worth listening to, I am THE WAY back to the God of heaven. I am the one you need to follow above everybody else.”
Jesus extends that same message to you. He is the way back to our Father in heaven. Jesus made this vital claim. He didn’t say that he was just one way among many, or one variation of truth, or one possible way to life. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Then he backed up his claims by rising from the dead.
Now Jesus is calling out to you to believe in him as your Savior and follow him as your loving Lord and Master.
Just like he said to his first disciples, he now says to you, “Come, follow me.”
Lord Jesus, forgive us for times we doubt who you are. You are the only way, truth, and life. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may follow you in everything we do. Amen.
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