The next day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me!” (Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.) Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the man whom Moses wrote about in his teachings and whom the prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, son of Joseph, from the city of Nazareth.”
Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip told him, “Come and see!”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and remarked, “Here is a true Israelite who is sincere.” Nathanael asked Jesus, “How do you know anything about me?”
Jesus answered him, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael said to Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” Jesus replied, “You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” Jesus said to Nathanael, “I can guarantee this truth: You will see the sky open and God’s angels going up and coming down to the Son of Man.”
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1) It’s a little hard to make sense of this. What parts don’t really seem to follow what comes before?
Let’s read a bit from the book ‘The Robe.’ (Chapter 16). The author tells the story of a Roman travelling through Israel meeting the people that Jesus knew and who are described in the gospels.
2) How did the author make sense of the Nathanael story? Did he deal with all the ‘huh?’ stuff in the story.
The readings have another story of a calling this week.
1 Samuel 3:1-20 The Lord Calls Samuel
The boy Samuel was serving the Lord under Eli. In those days a prophecy from the Lord was rare; visions were infrequent. One night Eli was lying down in his room. His eyesight had begun to fail so that he couldn’t see well. The lamp in God’s temple hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel was asleep in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was kept. Then the Lord called Samuel. “Here I am,” Samuel responded. He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So Samuel went back and lay down. The Lord called Samuel again. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I didn’t call you, son,” he responded. “Go back to bed.” Samuel had no experience with the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. “Go, lie down,” Eli told Samuel. “When he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. I’m listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his room.
The Lord came and stood there. He called as he had called the other times: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak. I’m listening.”
Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am going to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it ring. On that day I am going to do to Eli and his family everything I said from beginning to end. I told him that I would hand down a permanent judgment against his household because he knew about his sons’ sin - that they were cursing God - but he didn’t try to stop them. That is why I have taken an oath concerning Eli’s family line: No offering or sacrifice will ever be able to make peace for the sins that Eli’s family committed.” Samuel remained in bed until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision.
Then Eli called Samuel. “Samuel, my son!” he said. “Here I am,” he responded. “What did the Lord tell you?” he asked. “Please don’t hide anything from me. May God strike you dead if you hide anything he told you from me.” So Samuel told Eli everything. Eli replied, “He is the Lord. May he do what he thinks is right.”
Samuel grew up. The Lord was with him and didn’t let any of his words go unfulfilled. All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew Samuel was the Lord’s appointed prophet.
3) Does the story make sense?
4) Dramatic reading time! Divvy up parts
5) Have you been called?