1. Nathanael is chosen because he is without guile (John 1.47)
- Does not hide his thoughts, feelings and intentions.
- Down side is the “can anything good come out of Nazareth” comment.
- Point is that he is not trying to pretend he is something he is not.
The Gospel reading is teaching us that people like Nathanael are more likely to have Epiphany moments and have their spiritual eyes opened. This Passage is also important in that it helps us all understand who Jesus is. This is a major question in our time when many voices are playing down the divinity of Jesus and watering down His spiritual authority. If Jesus is just another teacher only smarter, we are all in deep trouble. We all need to keep awake and watch for this heresy in our time. We all need to be present with Nathanael when he sees who Jesus really is - God with us.
- Our soul is connected to our body and is affected by what we do.
- If we fill our minds with images of sex or violence we pollute our soul.
- Paul is teaching that the same applies to sexual relationships. The important point is that people who have a sexual relationship become connected spiritually. This means that all of the spiritual pollution in one can flow into the other
Paul uses the example of a prostitute who would have a lot of spiritual pollution - for example spirits of lust. We would not want to connect ourselves to such a person.
- Biblical rules of sexual conduct protect people from spiritual pollution.
- Protection from spiritual pollution enables Epiphany moments.
Christianity is more than morality. In Jesus we can see and personally experience a teacher who opens our eyes and helps us see the angels.
3. Samuel had an Epiphany moment because of his purity of heart
- Samuel’s Epiphany moment is that it is possible that God would speak in an audible voice to a human.
- Challenge was - “Now Samuel did not know the lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Samuel 3.7)
Serious Christians expect more
- Supernatural worldview of the Bible has been under attack by academics and Liberal philosophers since the Enlightenment
- Supernatural worldview has been rejected by many people who have not read the whole Bible or had an experience of the supernatural
The readings for today teach us that Christianity is more than a philosophy dreamed up by ancient mystics or clever teachers. The readings for today teach us that Christianity is a revealed religion. It is revealed and confirmed in the personal experiences of many individuals who have had Epiphany moments and actually experienced or heard the audible voice of God. We need to be clear that Christianity is unique in its claims of authentic, repeatable personal experiences of the divine. All of us should expect a personal encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
This is not just a high for the few, this is the promise for all!