Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 4:18 – 7:13
Relate: I am a Syracuse fan. What I mean by that is that I recognize that the Syracuse University Orangemen have the greatest basketball program in the history of college athletics. We are the best. I am not just talking about this year. I am talking about all time. While I’m at it, let me just say that Jim Boeheim is the greatest coach. It isn’t Coach C in Connecticut, it isn’t Coach K in Carolina, and it isn’t some other coach who might have led a team down in LA a few decades back. Boeheim is best and the only reason he is trailing one of those others by a few wins is because he coached most of his career in a much, much tougher conference. If any of this ends up losing me some readers in Durham, oh well. I will not shy away from the truth. (Oh, and by the way, blue and orange belong to Central NY, not some mile high football team with a geriatric quarterback who got spanked around in the Super Bowl)
OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest… A couple weeks back I was sitting down eating some wings with a Dr Pepper watching ‘Cuse play Wake Forest. I forget if this game made us 19-0 or 20-0 but that is beside the point. The point is, we were playing on their turf, they have a history of slaying giants, and the entire game it was pretty close. The guy sitting next to me was nervous. Three or four times during the game he said something along the lines of, “We shouldn’t be this close. We’re gonna end up losing this if we can’t pull away.” Finally, I said to him, “Don’t worry. The last five minutes we’ll widen the gap and they won’t come close from there on out.” Sure enough, with about 4:20 left Syracse established the biggest lead of the night and it was smooth sailing from there on out. As the clock was winding down he asked me, “How did you know we would do that.” I just smiled and said, “Sometimes you just know.”
React: Sometimes you just know. When you encounter the real deal, there is just something different, something more that pulls at you. I know my team. I know what they were capable of. So as the game was playing out, I knew what was coming. Nathanael was a big fan of God. He was playing for the right team. Jesus had already established his bonafides when He said, “This is a true Son of Israel, a man of complete integrity.” Nathanael didn’t bother to argue the point. False humility would serve no purpose. So as Jesus spoke, something clicked in Nathanael and he just knew it. He had been following after and pursuing the things of God long enough that when the Son of God came down and spoke with him, Nathanael had no doubts or hesitation. “You are the Son of God, the King of Israel.”
Do I know my God like I know my Orange? When I am standing in His presence, can I tell? When I hear someone speaking His word, does something in my spirit resonate with the truth? What about the converse? If someone is claiming to have a message from God, but it doesn’t line up with the truth, do I sense the discord? Have I studied and prepared and followed God’s team long enough and close enough and hard enough that I can tell with a word or a glance when I am experiencing the real deal?
God, let me pursue You with unrelenting fanaticism. Let me listen for Your heartbeat so closely that I can recognize its echo in others and in Your creation. Let me run after You with a passion that will never slow down or stop. I want to know You more deeply, see You more clearly, and hear You more perfectly with every passing day. You are the undefeated One. You are the Son of God, the King of Israel. Be King of my heart as well.