45. Pass it on

Short Meditations in John 1:  45. Pass it on

Jn 1:45    Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

John shows us again, the tendency there was to pass on the news about Jesus. Andrew had found Simon and told him, We have found the Messiah”. Now Philip finds Nathaniel and tells him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about.”  On the road to Emmaus Jesus explained to the two disciples his background and we find, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Lk 24:27)  Jesus said to the unbelieving critics, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” (Jn5:46)

Moses had declared, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.” (Deut 18:15) When Peter was preaching to the crowd after the cripple had been healed at the Gate Beautiful, he cited this same scripture: “For Moses said, `The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.” (Acts 3:22).

But of course it hadn’t only been Moses who had spoken about The Coming One for there were words throughout the prophets of the Old Testament that pointed towards him, and now Philip declares, “This is the one!” Philip’s short encounter with Jesus had somehow convinced him. We aren’t told what it was but obviously something about Jesus and what he said had already convinced Philip and he wants to pass it on to his friend Nathaniel.

What is interesting about these two incidents involving Andrew and now Philip, is that both of them have been convinced intellectually and emotionally in respect of Jesus, simply by being with him and talking and listening. Jesus has performed no miracles and done no signs – yet – and so they have been convinced simply by encounter. Later on the woman at the well in Samaria testified and we find, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (Jn 4:28,29). Now that seems a little bit of exaggeration in the light of what we are told in the account, but did, I wonder, the same sort of thing occur in the conversations that Andrew and Philip have with Jesus? There was something that captured both of these men in such a manner that they felt impelled to pass it on. Is that our faith?

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