How to experience greater things – John 1:43-51, Part 5

Last week my family awoke to the amazing sight of a couple dozen hot air balloons lifting off at sunrise, just across the fields near our home. As you can see in the picture above, they flew low right over our home. I took the photo from my front porch, so what you are seeing is our neighbor’s home. The sight of all those balloons was gorgeous, and it had me thinking that I’d like to ride in one of them sometime. Maybe you have goals in life, a bucket list, of experiences you’d like to have. Maybe you’d like to experience greater things, such as a job change, travel, or a relationship. In our final post on John 1:43-51, Jesus tells some of his disciples that there is a way to experience greater things.

As I mentioned in the previous post, after doubting that anything good can come out of the town of Nazareth, Nathanael meets Jesus. Jesus speaks a word of truth over Nathanael’s life, and in response Nathanael makes a confession about Jesus.  Like I said earlier, I don’t think this is a fully developed proper theological confession of Jesus.  No, it is just the true impression that Nathanael has based on the limited knowledge he has about the Messiah. 

But it is interesting that Nathanael mixes two concepts together in his confession: King of Israel and Son of God.  One is human, the other is divine, which is precisely how the writer of the Gospel of John described Jesus in his prologue in John 1, verses 1-14.  John describes Jesus as “the Word who was God,” and that Jesus is “the Word who became flesh and made his dwelling among us”?  That’s not unlike what Nathanael says.  Jesus is 100% God (“Son of God”) and 100% human (“King of Israel”).   

What Jesus says to Nathanael is awesome, “You will see greater things.”  Jesus wants Nathanael to be affirmed, but he also wants to whet Nathanael’s appetite for the soon-coming reality that will take the disciples from being fishermen to fishers of men.  It seems to me that what Jesus says in John 1, verses 50 and 51, is meant to be both encouraging and eye-opening.  It seems Jesus is saying to these men, “Hang on Nathanael.  Stay with me Andrew, Rock Johnson and Philip. Your lives are about to get wild.”

Jesus says the same to us.  “Come and See, Follow me, there will be greater things.”  Jesus also calls us to invite others just like Andrew said to Peter, “We have found the one,” and just like Philip invited Nathanael to “Come and See.” 

If you are not yet actively interacting with and trying to learn from and following Jesus, which is being his disciple, I’d love to talk with you about what that could look like in your life. 

If you are already a disciple of Jesus, who are you inviting to come and see and follow Jesus?  The mission of being a disciple-maker is the mission of every Christian. 

This is more than doing a Bible study or reading a daily devotional.  Those can be very good.  But what I am referring to when I talk about being a disciple and helping others become disciples also involves what we talked about in our recent blog series on the Fruit of the Spirit.  How are you doing with walking in step with the Spirit, so that the Spirit is growing his fruit in your life?  How are you helping others walk more in step with the Spirit, so they too can grow more of his fruit in their lives?  

Or consider the other recent blog series about relationships.  How do your various relationships demonstrate that you are a disciple of Jesus? How are you inviting the people in your life to follow Jesus?  How are you demonstrating discipleship to Jesus when life is difficult?  I encourage you to actively pursue discipleship to Jesus together.  Have you ever been discipled?  And who are you discipling right now?

That brings us back to the decline in American Christianity.  Is it possible we American Christians have done churchy things, but we have missed the core, the center, of what Jesus has called us to: be disciples who learn to follow him and make more disciples?  This must go beyond asking Jesus into your heart, praying, reading the Bible and going to church. 

What did Jesus tell us to do?  He invited people to Come and See and Follow Me.  He walked with people, investing deeply in their lives.  He employed the spiritual practice of questioning.  He taught them the way of the Kingdom.  He showed them how to reach out to people on the margins, the unlovely, the hurting, those in need.  He spent loads of time with his Father.  He gave his life for the mission of the Kingdom.

How can you be vulnerable and sacrificial with your life, including others, deeply investing in others as you follow Jesus together?

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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