Once we find a Source greater than us, however, we go from finite to infinite and temporal to eternal. The depth of the potential and supply of the otherwise unthinkable never ends in the Source of creation. Once He gives it to us, we get to walk in it, enjoy it and reproduce it.
There is a pretty cool encounter in John 1 between Jesus and one of His first disciples, Nathanael. We don’t know much about Nathanael other than this story, but in this story we see the Source of discipleship. We see Jesus seeing Nathanael and from Nathanael being seen, he can see.
When Nathanael is first told of Jesus as the One that Moses and the prophets talked about, the coming Savior, his cynical response is, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Jesus meets his skepticism with prophetic insight and tells Nathanael about his own heart. From the vision that Jesus uses to see the heart and identity of Nathanael, Nathanael is in turn is able to see the heart and identity of Jesus.
As Jesus calls out the disciple in Nathanael by seeing him for who he is, Nathanael responds with recognition of Jesus as, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Nathanael instantly goes from doubt to recognition and correctly identifies Jesus as:
- Rabbi – teacher of Scripture and disciple maker
- Son of God – connected by relationship to God the Father
- King of Israel – the true King, ushering in His Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven
Jesus affirms the vision of Nathanael by promising that he will see greater things. Jesus saw Nathanael and, in His seeing, opened Nathanael’s eyes to see the Kingdom. Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see the connection between heaven and earth. Jesus didn’t afford Nathanael eyes to see simply for the benefit of Nathanael, however, as Jesus was starting a movement of disciples that carries on thousands of years later.
Jesus was unleashing Nathanael in the things that Nathanael had identified in Jesus. Jesus was giving Nathanael what was in Him so that Nathanael could give it away to others. Thousands of years later, it continues. Through disciples that originated with Nathanael and the others that Jesus originally called, we see Jesus in people who see us from His perspective. When we are seen, we awaken to vision for Him and His Kingdom so that we can see others and continue the movement, which is the Kingdom of God.