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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
January 14, 2012

     Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We've found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It's Jesus, Joseph's son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You've got to be kidding.”
     But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”
     When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There's a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.”
     Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don't know me.”
     Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”
     Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”

John 1:45-49 (The Message*)

It's easy to look at the externals about someone, and miss what is important about them. Nathanael initially dismissed the possibility that Jesus was the Messiah because he was from the sticks, a place where he would not have expected someone of significance to come from.

The theme of looking at the inside of a person, not the outside, comes up repeatedly in the gospels. So does the principle of the essential worth of each human being in Christ's eyes.

The Rule of Saint Benedict dates from the sixth century and is considered the leading guide for Western Christian monastic living. It says, “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,” and “In the salutation of all guests, whether arriving or departing, let all humility be shown. Let the head be bowed or the whole body prostrated on the ground in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.”

The Benedictine injunction to receive all, no matter their condition in life, as Christ is wise counsel to all believers. How can we incorporate this spirit into our lives?

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2012 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 21-Jan-2012 15:22:18 EST