"Do you believe just because..." —John 1:50
"When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, He remarked: 'This man is a true Israelite. There is no guile in him' " (Jn 1:47). Nathanael asked Jesus, "How do You know me?" (Jn 1:48) This is a revealing response. The typical response to a total stranger would be to ask: "How do you know this information about me?" Yet Nathanael asked: "How do You know me?" The brief encounter between Nathanael and Jesus resulted in a supernatural knowledge, a binding of hearts, a joining of the divine and the human. Nathanael (Bartholomew) had an instant personal encounter with Christ and realized that Jesus knew him, loved him, and was the Son of God! (Jn 1:49)
Jesus made a comment which is also revealing. He asked if Nathanael came to believe just because He encountered Jesus personally (Jn 1:50). A life-changing personal encounter with Jesus is absolutely critical. However, Jesus went on to say that Nathanael would see much greater things than that! (Jn 1:50) Nathanael would see the glory of heaven (Jn 1:51). He would see the glory of the Church, the new Jerusalem (Rv 21:9ff). He would be chosen as an apostle (Mk 3:18), the foundation of the body of Christ, the Church (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14; Col 1:18). Nathanael would see Jesus as not just his Lord, but as Lord of heaven and earth.
May we all encounter Jesus personally and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Then may we all accept Him for everything that He truly is, in all His glory and splendor.
Prayer: Jesus, may I love the Church as You do (Eph 5:25).
Promise: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him; to all who call upon Him in truth." —Ps 145:18
Praise: During his life, St. Bartholomew took the gospel to India and Armenia. He saw a greater thing when he saw Jesus after His Resurrection and was invited by Him to eat at the heavenly banquet.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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