Psalms: 42, 43
Gospel: John 1:43-51
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from Against the Heresies by St. Irenaeus

‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth? (John 1:46)

It is hard to say for certain what kind of man Nathaniel was. We only catch a short glimpse of him here in the Gospel of John. If I were to speculate though, I would say he was a pretty skeptical guy. At Phillip’s invite to “come and see”, he readily questions whether anything good can come from a backwater town.

Furthermore when Jesus identifies him as an Israelite in whom there is no deceit, Nathaniel asks how Jesus knows him. There seems to be a great deal of mistrust…

And then it what appears to be a rather odd turn of events, Nathaniel boldly declares that Jesus is the Son of God and King of Israel…..even though Christ simply stated that he saw him hanging out by the fig tree.

This might seem strange at first….but I think it makes a little more sense if we skip to the end of John’s gospel *spoiler alert* lol 😉

Nathaniel’s confession sounds suspiciously like that of another apostle we know. Unlike the doubting believer who requires concrete evidence, Nathaniel’s faith is unprompted and spontaneous.

One of the central questions in the Fourth Gospel, and for us during Lent, is what kind of believer we are to be. Are we the type to recognize Jesus right away……or do we need more convincing???

If it is the latter, what proof would we need? If the former, how do we make sure we are recognizing Christ, and not some figment of our imagination and self-construction???

I am not saying that one type of discipleship is better or worse…..and if pressed, I would definitely consider myself more Thomas-esque….but the question still remains……how and where do we see Jesus today??? +