Scripture: 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel — a man of complete integrity.” 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God — the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” [John 1:47-51 NLT]
The truth is we live in a culture where seeing is believing. Another way we might say this is “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Maybe you have heard this concerning your favorite sports team? A fan says your team will win their next game, or a championship, and the response is, “I’ll believe it when I see it!” This can be the response to any number of situations: a promotion, a raise, a promise made, and the list goes on. We live in a culture where seeing is believing. We want to see the evidence, or proof, before we will place our belief in something as being true. In so many ways this is our human nature.
Jesus encounters Nathaniel sitting under a fig tree. As Nathaniel approaches him Jesus tells Nathaniel that he is an honest man – a true son of Israel. Nathaniel instantly recognizes Jesus as the Son of God. This was a profession of faith that Jesus was a godly teacher and worthy of following. Jesus asks Nathaniel if he believes this just because of what Jesus told him about himself. Jesus has given Nathaniel a glimpse of what was to come. Jesus gave him evidence that he was the Son of God. Jesus knew about him long before they had ever met. Jesus was able to tell him who he was before they even were introduced. Nathaniel found that worthy of his belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Nathaniel saw evidence of who Jesus was before he really knew who Jesus was. This caused him to believe.
The next thing Jesus says tells us how faith in Jesus Christ works. Jesus tells him, “You will see greater things than this.” Jesus turns the "seeing is believing" culture on its head. Jesus is telling Nathaniel, when you believe you will see great things. With Jesus, belief comes first. Jesus wants us to put our faith in him and then we will see even greater things. Jesus gives us a glimpse of who he is and what he can do before we believe. The really great things that Jesus does in our life come after we profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our life and truly believe. That’s when Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit on us and dwells in our hearts and minds for all eternity. With Jesus, believing means we will see even greater things.
Start today by placing all of your faith in Jesus, believing that you will experience great things. Make an intentional decision to follow Jesus every moment of the day. Seek out opportunities to help others experience the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that the Holy Spirit brings. Be sure to give God the honor, glory, and praise as you see the greater things God will bring your way in the name of Jesus.
Prayer: God, help me to believe today before I see. I want to lead with faith in your goodness and grace. I will watch for the ways you show up today. In the name of Jesus. Amen.