Scripture: John 1:43-51 (NIV)
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you,you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
We want to see the signs, don’t we? In today’s reading, we see Nathaniel believing in Christ after Jesus told him he was under the fig tree when he was approached by Philip. Seeing the miraculous signs that Jesus did with his disciples or God did during Old Testament times would sure go a long way to shore up our faith, wouldn’t it?
An amazing sign was a turning point for Luke. When his X-Wing was submerged beneath the murky Dagobah waters, his doubt and inability to believe in himself kept him from being able to make a miracle happen. It took Yoda lifting the ship out of the water and guiding to dry land to break through Luke’s barriers. He had seen what was possible and it’s no coincidence that the next time we see Luke, he’s running through his training exercises with no qualms and able to tap into upper-level Force abilities. That was the turning point from a person who wanted to believe to a person who did believe.
We don’t often get a flaming column, a prophetic word, or a large spaceship lifted out of the muck. What we do get are more subtle signs: a word spoken at the right time, a helping hand when it was sorely needed, the right Bible verse to hear for the circumstances. We need to be able to understand those signs and treat them as what they are, a faith boost. Using that kind of boost can propel us to a deeper and stronger relationship with God if we can just recognize it. As Yoda tells Luke, “You will know, when you are at peace.” Let us cultivate that peace to recognize the signs.