I’ve been studying the book of John lately. A small group I’m involved in online decided to go through the book separately, two chapters at a time, sharing our notes and insights with each other via DropBox and an online discussion board and the occasional Skype chat. It’s been so so good. Every day something new sticks out at me and my journaling Bible is getting marked up and highlighted like there’s no tomorrow.
And now, as I’m about to embark on a journey to another country to share Jesus and serve as He did, I’m mulling over some of the words I read in John 1. They’re resonating with me, sinking in to my heart and stirring my very soul.
“You will see greater things than these.” (John 1:50)
Jesus was in the process of calling His disciples. Philip had left to go get Nathanael and bring him to see Jesus, and when they come back, Jesus tells Nathanael some things that blow his mind. He tells Nathanael that before Philip approached him, when he was sitting under the fig tree, Jesus saw him. Nathanael, awed by this knowledge that no man could have had, declares that Jesus is the Son of God. And I love what Jesus says next:
“Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”
Jesus had just done something incredible, something no one else could have done. Yet He tells this man to wait and see; that in the future Jesus will do greater things and he’d be able to witness them. Jesus did something miraculous, but He wasn’t finished. Not even close. He promises greater things.
And reading that, I felt Him saying the same thing to me.
I’ve seen Him bring in four-thousand dollars in five-and-a-half months for my trip to Romania. Four thousand dollars from very different places, through very different means. Some of it came anonymously at just the right moment, at the times I needed encouragement and reminders of my calling to this trip, of how well He provides. Some of it came in huge amounts that I never anticipated. Some of it came through friends with hearts for the things of Jesus, some through strangers I’d never met, some from people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years. He brought it all right to me, as I knew He would, but He did it in ridiculously incredible ways that I had never expected.
So I’ve been sitting here, thinking, “God… You are so faithful! The ways You’ve been at work in my life…!” I’ve spent moments rejoicing; moments sharing the ways He’s provided; moments sitting speechless because sometimes there just aren’t words. I’ve been blown away by what He’s done right in front of me, something huge and something I would never have been able to do on my own. I’ve been Nathanael, marveling over Him seeing me at the fig tree.
Then this feeling comes, the words of that passage echo in my heart, and I hear Him, clear as day. He smiles, holds out His hand and says, “You will see greater things than these.” And I believe Him. I’m taking His words as a promise as I step forward and head to a foreign land. I’m choosing to have faith in His power, His love, His hope. I’m believing that I will see these greater things and praying my heart is open to see them for what they are- to embrace them fully.
Greater things are ahead. I’m going, moving toward them, and all the while He smiles, His hand in mine.