Commentary on the Gospel of

NOVICE MASTER Fr. Johnson Joseph, cmf

Nathanael knew the scriptures and their promises of fulfilment. Yet his heart was restless and was seeking more. He longed for an intimate relationship with God. He was willing to respond to the call “come and see.” He was a man without guile and so he could encounter what he sought easily. Jesus had already found him: “I saw you under fig tree.” God knew the heart of Nathanael because he was a seeker of truth. It would be more exact to say that Jesus recognizes those whom the Father has entrusted to him.

That is why Jesus declared Nathanael as a “true Israelite” even though he did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. But the brief yet intense encounter with Jesus helped him to understand that God’s plan is not always as people imagine or desire it to be. He recognizes and acknowledges his deception or mistake. He changes his idea, accepts Jesus as Messiah and confesses, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel!”  He obliged willingly to the invitation for a come and see experience.

He discovered a God who is intimately united to the human beings. We come to know the extent of what Nathanael experienced from his later witness of life. He found in Jesus a message that is alive and that brings joy for all which he could not but share. He left his homeland and took along with him the treasure that he found as far as India.

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