The greater things that Jesus promised to Nathaniel (Bartholomew), He has accomplished and fulfilled by His Cross and manifested in His Resurrection from the dead.
He has opened heaven to all who believe and are baptized into Him. And in His own crucified and risen flesh, He reveals the very Glory of the true and only God.
So does He graciously choose and purpose to come to you; because He sees you in love, even from afar, and He knows you in His mercy and kindness. He seeks you out and finds you, and He calls you to Himself: to follow Him.
Come, then, and behold the Glory of God in Him. For Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures, of all the Law and the Prophets, of all that God the Lord has spoken and promised from the beginning.
You see, the Word of God has become Flesh, and here in this place, in His Church on earth, He dwells with you. In His Body and His Blood, given and poured out, heaven is not only opened to you (as it surely is!), but the heart and center of heaven is here. That is why the angels and archangels, and all the saints and martyrs, including St. Bartholomew, and all the company of heaven, that whole great cloud of witnesses surround you and accompany you in this place, encircling the Lamb of God upon His Throne.
Can such good and great things truly be given to you in such earthen vessels and by such human hands? Indeed, they can. They are. Precisely because it is solely by the power and wisdom of God, and not by any reason or strength of man. The wisdom of God makes foolish the world's wisdom; and the power of God is made perfect in weakness, in the Cross and suffering, in the preaching of the Gospel, even in the midst of death, and above all else in the forgiveness of sins for Christ Jesus' sake.
It is for such a purpose that the Lord Jesus called Philip and Nathaniel Bartholomew, not only to be His disciples (numbered among His Christians), but to be counted among His Twelve holy Apostles.
You see it already beginning in Jesus coming to Philip and calling him, and then in Philip going to Nathaniel and bringing him to Jesus. And that great work has continued, from Christ and His Apostles, in the Ministry of the Gospel, even to this present day and to this place.
This is where your help comes from the Lord. He comes to you here, in the flesh, in order to save you from death and give you life. Even in suffering and every affliction, you are not crushed or destroyed, but raised up with Christ Jesus — even into heaven itself, to abide forever with Him in the Glory of the Father.
Friend in Christ, dear disciple of Jesus, receive this holy tradition in His Body and His Blood, and by the confession of His Word, call others to Him, also, as Philip called Nathaniel.
Do so in this sure and certain confidence: The same Lord who saw you and knew you, and sought you out, and found you, and called you to Himself in love — the same Lord desires also the repentance and salvation of your family, friends and neighbors. He also sees them and knows them and would call them to Himself, perhaps through you; and by whatever means He may call them, it is most surely in His steadfast love and mercy.
You have no power or ability to change their hearts, but you can bid them come and see what you see, and to hear what your ears are blessed to hear: the Light of the Revelation of the Glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, which is for all the nations, through the free and full forgiveness of all sins. It is that great forgiveness which is given to you here, in His Body and His Blood, unto the life everlasting. Amen! Amen! This is most certainly true.
In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Old Lutheran Quote of the Day
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