The scripture for today is John 1:50.
“Jesus said to him, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”
Who was sitting under a fig tree? Why did Jesus even bring this up? I had to read the whole story and I invite you to do so as well (John 1:43-51) as I am going to paraphrase because I think it sounds like a lot of us today. This is about the disciple, Nathaniel. His friend, Phillip, tells him he's found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Nathaniel's reply is classic. He replies with total sarcasm "Nazareth? Really? Can anything good come from Nazareth?" I can really just hear Nathaniel saying this, with a quirk of the eyebrow even. But Phillip is not put off that easy, and he replies, "Just come and see!" So probably grumbling half the way, Nathaniel is cajoled and persuaded to come meet our Lord.
When he finally stands face to face with Jesus, our skeptic, Nathaniel is naturally dubious. Jesus cuts through that wall of cynicism and tells Nathaniel that He knows, deep down, that he is a good person. Jesus sees his heart, even though he's kept it so carefully guarded. Nathaniel is astounded. "Believe in me," our Savior says, "and you will see things that will blow your mind far more than this!"
I don't think it was the promise of seeing miracles or angels that convinced Nathaniel this was the true Redeemer. I think it was that Jesus saw through the wall, the facade that Nathaniel had built up to keep from getting hurt. Saw through the coolness, sarcasm, been there done that attitude, to his true heart. Those of us that have been through some things, can relate. This world is filled with mean, rude, judgmental, inconsiderate, flawed humans. Their words and actions have hurt us. To protect ourselves, we've built up walls, personalities filled with sarcasm, anger, or aloofness to protect our tender hearts. But our Jesus never quits! He keeps calling us. "I stand at the door and knock..." (Revelation 3:20) He keeps looking for that one little crack in our hardened exteriors and says "It doesn't matter what you've done, it doesn't matter how the world judges you, I see you. I know your heart. You are mine." If you let him in, I can tell you, it is such a relief to drop that guard and rest in him.
Jesus, my Savior, I pray for all those who are hurting but don't show it. Help me let down my guard and be more open with others. I know you've said it isn't good for us to be alone. Bring positive people into my life that will be patient with me and give me the courage to also reach out in fellowship to others. Amen.
Connie Simmonds firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: All those who's job requires them to travel frequently