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Hey! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm Lyn- wife, mother, writer, speaker, and yes- a former beauty queen. But don't let the title fool you, I'm just a country girl saved by a Grace I don't fully understand. I write about the journey with that amazing Grace here and I'd be delighted for you to join me.
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Tag Archives: Following Jesus
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Phillip and said to him “Follow me.” Now Phillip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Phillip 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?” Phillip 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 Phillip 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!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
I’d love to know what happened under that fig tree.
Nathanael wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. It was common practice for Jewish men to meditate on the Law under fig trees to escape the heat of the sun. But this sacred respite must have been altogether different. The day before, Jesus decided to leave Bethany across the Jordan(where John the Baptist was) to go to Galilee. It would appear that He was en route to the wedding in Cana. But the wedding was three days away. Why would Jesus arrive early? Perhaps Phillip and Nathanael had something to do with it.
“Decided” is translated from the Greek word “thelo“. It means “to will; not only willing something, but also pressing on to action; in the New Testament it denotes elective inclination, love.”
Jesus decided to go to Galilee…
I do not believe Jesus’ decision to go to Galilee three days early was accidental or mere coincidence. I believe it was pointed and purposeful. Everything He says or does is rife with meaning. He speaks and galaxies form. Planets spin. Waters divide. Light appears. His touch heals. His gaze transforms.
The first thing we are told is that Jesus finds Phillip. Then Phillip finds Nathanael.
An Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.
The Greek word used for “deceit” is “dolos“. It is sometimes translated “guile, trick, deceit, an attempt to mislead or bait others by telling lies”.
I can’t help but wonder if Nathanael poured his heart out to God under those branches. Confessing. Laying his soul bear. Purely. And the One who rewards those who seek Him came to the one without guile.
Before Phillip called you…When you were under the fig tree…I saw you.
Before. Before we know it. Before we feel it. He is always before.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me! You know when I sit and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high and I cannot attain it.
The Grace of God came to Nathanael that day. And He comes for you and me. Still. I hope He finds us under the fig tree.
Linking up with the lovely Laura…
So blessed and excited to head up to Pennsylvania today!
I open my morning devotionand read from the Gospel of John…
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
John 20:1-16 NIV
I picture these three ~ Mary, Peter and John, and I am struck by their pursuit. None of the other disciples join them.
Once there, John and Mary bend over and look in the tomb. Peter goes all the way in. They are looking for Him. Still following.
I learned to follow as a child. I followed my grandmother. Everywhere she went, this lamb was sure to…well, you know how the song goes. Many afternoons I laid my head in her lap and she stroked my hair.
I would ask for a story and off she’d go…..tales of Georgia in the 1920’s. She spoke of waking up at Aunt Babe’s house to warm biscuits and homemade jelly, of Uncle Elsey asking to lick the last of the cake batter from the bowl, of Grandma Bland gathering all the grandchildren at her feet for night time prayers. She spoke long of being rescued twice in her life ~ by Aunt Babe and by my Papa.
As she prepared meals and baked legendary desserts, she told me of God’s faithfulness in her life and how important it is to trust Him even when times are hard. I listened at night, as she prayed out loud and left herself for last or sometimes, not at all.
This is my inheritance. A godly grandmother. The tears well up… as I remember how she sowed seeds in my life. I am so grateful I didn’t miss it.
What would I have missed if I hadn’t followed hard?
What about Mary, Peter and John? They would have missed the strips of linen lying there without a body. They would have missed the burial face cloth, folded with care. They would have missed the angels keeping watch.
They would have missed the miracle.
To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.
O Lord, make us hungry. Fill our hearts with longing and satsfy us with only Yourself. Show us Your glory so that we will be ruined for anything the world has to offer. Give us “grace to to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where we have wondered so long”. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Linking up with Tracy and Jennifer