Greater things than these

Last Friday’s Candorville comic strip caught my attention. I had just come upstairs to my home office and was reading some comics online before working on chapter four of my book. Chapter four focuses on how simple events can inspire sudden faith, in this case, Jesus recognizing Nathanael from when he had seen him sitting under a fig tree several days earlier. The very same story Lemont is telling to Susan in the “Candorville” strip.

Lemont tells this story as he might tell a joke. And I can understand why, because this story makes me laugh, too. Just not for exactly the same reason as Lemont.

You see, Lemont leaves out what I think is the best line, the last part of Jesus’ remark to Nathanael in John 1:50: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.'” 

I imagine Jesus’ response today would go something likethis: “Seriously? You believe in Me just because I saw you sitting under that tree the other day? You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Jesus knew that during the short years of his ministry, He would encounter others with harder hearts who would witness His most miraculous works and still refuse to believe. So it must have refreshed Him – and likely caused him to chuckle to himself – that a person could believe for so little a reason as the fig tree.

You will see greater things than these
Nathanael didn’t need to witness spectacular miracles to believe in Jesus. He had come to meet Jesus at the invitation of his trusted friend Philip, who had already proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah they had been seeking. It was enough that Jesus recognized him – knew him for a true student of God’s Word – simply from seeing him studying under a fig tree days earlier. Can you imagine believing in Christ for such a simple reason as that?

Most of us experience simple moments of faith, quiet encounters with Christ that transform us in small ways and remind us of who He is. Have you experienced such a moment that further cemented your faith? Maybe God has answered a prayer you desperately flung up to heaven. Or a moment of beauty has taken your breath away – light streaming through trees of orange and scarlet and gold on a fall morning, or the ocean’s lapping at the beach filling you with peace. Or maybe you catch a glimpse of God’s presence in the delighted laughter of a child.

For my faith walk, it’s daily moments like these that bond me – again and again – to God. Each day brings its own wonders, not anything necessarily spectacular or miraculous, but reminders, nonetheless, of God’s presence in my life. And each one points to the promise Jesus made to Nathanael: “You will see greater things than these.”

I’d love to hear the simply, daily events that inspire you and draw you more closely into experiencing the presence of God. Or maybe God has drawn you to Him with a more miraculous event. Either way, I’d encourage you to share your stories here. Together, these stories will tell of the greater things we will one day see.

3 thoughts on “Greater things than these

  1. I heard the quote this week, "Only the thankful are paying attention."This week, I'm paying attention to the beautiful aromas of the season- especially delicious food smells- as reminders that He provides for my needs.

  2. That's a lovely image, Tracey. I've been enjoying the warmth of the fireplace lately, too, and now I have an extra reminder of God's love the next time I sit warming in front of the fire.

  3. Yes, for me it's the same–the little moments when I sense God's presence do strengthen my faith. This morning when I loaded the wood stove, I just sat for a minute enjoying the heat and thinking how God's love permeates my soul the way wood heat permeates my back and shoulders on a cold Minnesota morning.

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