It is intriguing to imagine this story in the Gospel of John as the first evidence of a kind of divine, "Hide and Seek," or maybe even, "You're it!" First Jesus FINDS Philip and extends an invitation to follow Jesus. Then Philip runs to FIND Nathanael and then declares, "We have FOUND Jesus!" But clearly, Nathanael is not sure he wants to play, disputing Philip's eyewitness account and questioning if anything good can come from Nazareth. But then Jesus shows up again and says to Nathanael, "I see you!"
If it were only that simple--that believable. Sometimes, like Nathanael, it's hard for us to recognize the Invasion of Holiness. When we struggle in life and don't know which way to turn, we often find ourselves looking down, and wondering, "Where are you, Jesus?" We cry out, "Please show up!" Then, when we least expect it, God comes to us, invades us, promises life and says, "I see you, beloved child of God; come and follow me."
John 1:43-51 (NRSV)
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth."
46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!"
48 Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."
49 Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
50 Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these."
51 And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."