Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Philip had earlier been called by Jesus. Jesus had sought him out and said, “Follow Me.” After doing so, Philip knew that this was who they had been waiting for. He knew it was Messiah. So then he goes to Nathanael to invite him to come and see. But Nathanael isn’t sure what to think. He doubts initially, but he has to make up his mind for himself. And how does he do so? By listening to rumors or just going by what Philip said? No, he goes to see Jesus for himself. Then he knows with certainty that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of Israel.
The truth is, we don’t save other people. We can’t make up their minds for them, and we don’t really have to do a lot of convincing. We simply invite them to come and see for themselves. We introduce them to Jesus, and they have to come to their own conclusion. But we can show them where He dwells. We show them in Scripture who Jesus is. The Word of God points to Him. And each person’s personal experience of knowing Him is what will change their mind and their life.
The truth is that even in these early moments of rounding up His disciples, Jesus was using others to lead people to Him. When Nathanael asks Jesus where He knew him from, Jesus says that before Philip called him, He saw him under a fig tree. Perhaps Jesus could have walked past him at that moment and bid him follow like the others. But He let Philip have the privilege of inviting his friend and the excitement of being part of introducing him to his Savior.
In His infinite wisdom, God has employed us, those who already believe in Jesus as Savior, to have a part in the great work of helping others come to know Him, too. Sometimes that’s as simple as an invitation. Sometimes it’s sharing Scripture. Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time. And sometimes it’s just letting our excitement about our walk with Jesus spill over onto those around us. The hard work was done by Jesus when He went to the cross to secure our salvation. Now all we have to do is invite others to come and see and know Him for themselves.