Today's devotion for today during the time of Epiphany is based on John 1:45-49. "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." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Nathanael's response of "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" was probably said with sarcasm and unbelief. But Philip is not rebuffed. He responds with a gentle invitation for Nathanael to come and see for himself.
When Jesus greets Nathanael as 'an Israelite in whom there is no deceit' and adds that he 'saw' Nathanael before Phillip spoke with him, Nathanael is profoundly surprised. His unbelieve melts in the Light of Jesus' supernatural perception, and Nathanael has his Epiphany. He sees Jesus for a moment in his true identity. 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!' Jesus sees Nathanael, and in response, Nathanael sees the Son of God.
While we may encounter many sarcastic, skeptical people in our witness to Jesus, we need to remember that it is not our job to convince them; our job is only to invite them. Jesus will reveal himself at the right time and place he chooses.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me to invite nonbelievers to hear your Word so that they too will know the Light of life, Jesus, as their Savior. In Jesus' holy name, I pray. Amen.