1:47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”

51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Perhaps there is a slight caveat here to my perky optimism in my previous reflection on Philip’s initial encounter with Nathanael.

Love may not be immediately and equally self-authenticating in every person who encounters genuine love. Philip must have seen in Nathanael that quality Jesus named in Nathanael when he said of him,

Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!

Philip was able to trust that love would have its way in his friend because Philip knew that Nathanael was an honest and a genuine man. Philip had experienced Nathanael’s open heart. He knew that, when Nathanael met Jesus, this open-heartedness would allow Nathanael to be deeply touched by the divine Presence in Jesus.

This is all any of us has to bring to the table. We do not open our hearts to truth, beauty and light because we are convinced by intellectual argument that these are the deep qualities for which we long. We  will encounter truth, beauty and light when we are determined to keep our hearts open to the presence and action of love. We have set our intention in advance to approach life with an open receptive heart.

The promise is that when we bring an open responsive heart, we will see “the Son of God!” and know that he is “the King” of all life. There is no force on earth more powerful than the love and truth Jesus embodied. We need only to have a genuine heart that stands willing and open.

Near the end of the New Testament, the risen Christ is reported to have said,

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (Revelation 3:20)

All that is required is an “open” door. This much we can do.