Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
EPIPHANY PART 2
DURING the course of our lives we have lots of encounters with people.
Most of these turn out to be of little significance and are soon forgotten.
But other encounters turn out to be of great significance; they enrich our lives and sometimes change them utterly.
Sometimes, just one meeting with someone is all it takes and an immediate bond is formed.
Such was Nathanael’s encounter with Jesus.
Something snapped into focus in this passage for Nathanael.
It is not obvious to us how Nathanael transformed
from a master of suspicion about anyone from Nazareth
to spokesman of faith in a matter of moments.
In our text,
Nathaniel seemed to approach life with a critical lens.
...we found the man about whom
Nathanael doubts it,
rationalising that nothing good comes out of Nazareth.
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him;
Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!"
Jesus greets him generously as a good man
which only raised suspicion for Nathanael as he answers
Where did you get to know me?"~
So then, this negative and suspicious guy
suddenly effuses an overwhelmingly positive declaration
of who Jesus is,
after just meeting him.
The drama in this story counts on the fact that this character,
Nathanael, doesn’t tend to act in such a positive manner.
So if Nathanael, of all people, confesses faith in Jesus,
you can trust him because he is not predisposed
to such positiveness.
It is his faith that has overcome suspicion about Jesus.
Nathanael is not one of those folks whose faith in Jesus
although the text makes it he is a faithful Jew.
He is just as startled as anyone when the reality of Jesus
snapped unexpectedly into focus.
There is something about that fig tree remark
that made who Jesus is clear for Nathanael.
We do not get to be privy to what exactly transformed
Nathanael’s view of Jesus.
What is clear is that epiphanies of the Christ
come to different people in such drastically
different ways that it can seem quite incomprehensible.
Epiphanies tend to transform people.
in which he suddenly could see clearly who Jesus was,
who then proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God.
An epiphany of God allowed something new
to snap into focus for Nathaniel.
That newness changed his life.
Jesus is forever passing by and offering us
moments of transformation that can change our lives.
We can encounter him through faith,
through his word
and through the interactions we have with other people.
My Gran use to always say,
'Jesus is a gentleman,
he will never force himself on anyone,
but if you want to know him he will always say,
"Come and see”'.
Being a Christian is all about having a warm and
close relationship with Jesus.
Not a once for all encounter,
but a growing, transforming relationship with Him.
SO keep your eyes and hearts open for your divine encounters,
and allow them to foster an even deeper relationship
The Lord Be with You!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.