Second Sunday after Epiphany
READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
- First reading
- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)
- Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
- Second reading
- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
- John 1:43-51
Gospel reading from John
Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
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.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”
Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”
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.”
From three kinds of sources to select sermon material – lectionary, other writings and congregational needs, any of which could be used with the reading from John, Pastor Stevensen decided to talk on needs of the congregation.. We all suffer losses in our lives. And our nation is suffering in these tumultuous times. In the last verse in the reading from John, Jesus says to Nathanael” I tell you the truth. You shall see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” This echoes Genesis 28 in which Jacob sees a ladder on which angels descend and ascend from heaven. So where do we go from here? The question really is from where do we come? To Nathanael Jesus said “You shall see heaven open.” Putting this all together we conclude that the place to see Jesus Christ is where heaven and earth meet. In the Jewish temple the closest place to God is in the holiest of holy inner chambers. The true meeting place is Jesus Christ himself. So Nathanael must have seen Heaven open. For the climatic events in Jesus’ life, the heaven must have opened. What does this all mean for us today? In Romans 6:5 the apostle Paul wrote “If we have been united with Christ in his death, we also will be united with Him into his resurrection.” When Jesus was baptized, God joined with him. So are we joined with the life of Jesus.