05 January 2010
Jesus Calls The Unschooled and Ordinary
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you,m you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:35-51
In our time, we properly hold up the twelve men whom Jesus personally discipled in great reverence. But who were these men? In Acts 4:13, it is reported that the Jewish religious leaders (formally educated) were surprised by the confidence and courage of these "unschooled and ordinary" men.
We judge people by so many criteria. We complete census forms in some part for government sociologists to pour over and predict the trends of the nation over the next few years. But Jesus did not judge by the things that we judge each other by. Jesus knew the hearts of men. It seemed that if someone had a good heart, Jesus could work wonders through them. And even if they didn't at the time, Jesus could turn "hearts of stone" into "hearts of flesh". ("A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26)
Following Jesus isn't centralised on intellect (if that were the case many of us would be in trouble). Although the longer we spend time with Jesus and listen to his life and teachings, the smarter and wiser we become. Following Jesus is centralised on what we believe about Him and our actions tell the true story about what we believe. Is He our teacher? Is He our Messiah? Is He the Son of God? Is He the King?