You can watch Episode 2 by clicking on the link below and going to Episode 2. Thank you to The Chosen for this episode and for any of The Chosen photos used in this blog. Enjoy and may you be blessed.
We meet two new Disciples in Episode 2
Nathaniel, Our First New Disciple:
Nathaniel is a failed Architect, fired from his job, misunderstood by his boss, worked his way up to an important position, was a Jew in a Roman workplace and a man who desperately wants to honor God. His desire is to build a place where people can sing, pray, and glorify God. He believes he was created to do this. When he fails and is fired, Nathaniel first turns to drink, refers to himself as being DEAD, isolates himself, sits under a tree and calls out to God.
He first Praises God and then laments. (Just like in Psalms) “Hear me Oh Lord. Do not turn away from me. Do you hear me? Do you see me?” He then burns his plans for a temple and showers himself with the ashes.
Philip (our other new Disciple) visits his friend, Nathaniel and tells him that he has left John the Baptist and is now following the one they have been waiting for, Jesus, The Messiah. Nathaniel scoffs, especially since Jesus is from Nazareth. Philip tells Nathaniel to COME AND SEE.
Jesus meets Nathaniel and calls him a Truth Teller.
Jesus continues, “Man is often deceitful, and Israel began with Jacob, a bit of a deceiver. But you are a True Israelite. A man without deceit.”
Jesus tells him, “I have known you long before Philip called you to Come See Me. When you were alone and in your lowest moment, I saw you under the fig tree. I did not turn my face from you. I saw you.” This is Nathaniel’s Ah- Ha moment. It is then that Nathaniel has his revelation that Jesus is The Son of God.
Jesus tells him, “You KNEW who I was when I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see even greater things than that. Like Jacob, you will see Heaven open, and Angels will ascend and descend upon the Son of Man… That’s me. You always wanted to build something that would cause prayer and songs, something to bring souls closer to God. Can you start tomorrow?”
CAN YOU RELATE TO NATHANIEL? Have you ever been fired, lost a job, felt like a failure, given up, thought God didn’t hear or see you, thought God didn’t care, thought you were doing what you were meant to do and then failed? Has God ever taken a moment of despair or failure and redirected you?
Nathaniel is who, what and where he is supposed to be. When we are at our lowest, God is at His greatest.
John 1:47-48, When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do You know me?”. Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
Gen. 28:10 Jacob saw heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon a ladder which reached from heaven to earth.
John 1:50-51 Jesus said to him, (Nathaniel) “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” Then He declared, “Truly, truly, I tell you, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Philip, Our second new Disciple:
Philip has been a follower of John the Baptist, has been living in the wilderness and is a man who knows how to survive living in the wild. He is a friend of both Andrew and Nathaniel. He is wise. Jesus says that Philip will be His most experienced follower. Philip takes Matthew under his wing and stands up to Simon and the others on Matthew’s behalf. Philip teaches Matthew about manual labor; drying and shredding wood for fire. Matthew says, “Phillip is like Simon without being Simon.”
What does he mean?
Philip gives Mattew advice. “People try to define us by our past, but we are different because of Jesus. We are redefined by Him.” “Everyone else in the world is playing a different game now.”
Philip can relate to Matthew. They have both been living on the outside of the circle and society. They are different from everyone else. Philip can relate because he has been living with and following John the Baptist, who is definitely living outside the norm.
Philip tells Matthew that Jesus knows the gifts Matthew has, what he’s capable of and what he gave up to follow him. Jesus knows Matthew has everything he needs to succeed. Philip tells Matthew, “What you think you know doesn’t matter anymore.” Matthew says he believes that Jesus knows what He’s doing. Matthew just wishes he did.
Can you relate to Philip in any way? He too was an outsider. He stands up for those that can’t stand up or speak for themselves. He is a survivor. He is a good listener. He cares. He stands up when he sees injustice. He leads others to Christ (Nathaniel). He is a peacemaker. Can you see yourself in Philip?
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,…
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
Philip and Matthew bond and Matthew is able to talk to Philip without fear of being ridiculed. He has not spoken like this to anyone else up to this point.
Matthew tells Philip his story: Matthew says that as an 8-year-old child, he was very efficient at both numbers and Scriptures. He was paraded in front of the magistrate, offered more money than his family made, was sent to a different school, and became successful and rich. He was not only able to but needed to buy a house for himself at age 13, because his father kicked him out. He became an instant outcast. He feels lost. He is hurt that people in the group don’t think he is capable enough, or smart or worthy enough to be there. He dresses differently and is always writing things down which Simone criticizes him for. Matthew did not finish learning scripture as a child, like all the other Disciples and now wishes to learn as does Mary Magdalen and Rahma. Matthew wants to fit in. He wants to learn more.
Can you relate to Matthew? Do you have a talent or expertise and have been successful at it, but gotten no respect or recognition for it? Have you ever been abandoned emotionally or physically? Have you ever been bullied? Have you ever been an outcast as a child or as an adult? Have you ever been ridiculed unjustly? Have you ever had to live or work with people that don’t like you? Matthew has. Matthew is ostracized, ridiculed, bullied (especially by Simon) and often left to walk alone on their journey, but it doesn’t matter. Jesus accepts him just the way he is. Jesus accepts you just the way you are. Shouldn’t we do the same for those that are different?
Our old friend SIMON:
Simon still wants to be in control. He talks to Jesus about needing a leader and rules to follow. He tells Jesus, “We all agree with you and will do what you say, but when you are away, we don’t have authority to follow.” Jesus says, “You have my instructions.” Simon replies, “Yes. We have direction as to where to go but we don’t know how to get there and achieve what you want us to do. We need a plan.
Jesus explains that Simon acts on instinct and is a leader and that Jesus will need him later. He further explains that each person has been chosen for a reason.
Each has a talent. Each is unique, and every person needs to be heard. You can all learn from each other. One day there will be a need for structure and Simon will play a big part in that. Simon asks. WHY NOT NOW? Jesus says because he is still there.
Can you relate to Simon? CONTROL, CONTROL. Simon Needs to know. He needs direction. He’s Anxious, needs to learn patience and needs to let go. He puts people down sometimes because he thinks he’s smarter, stronger, and more worthy. He has an “I’m better than you” attitude at times.
Jesus is teaching Simon to let God be number ONE. It doesn’t seem like he has had his “I AM SECOND MOMENT.”
A personal note:
We are definitely going deeper into each personality. It’s like layers of an onion being peeled away. This is not only revealing more about the Disciples, but this seems to be like God is revealing more of me as well. As I see each of their faults and frailties, I see more and more of myself. It’s almost like there is a gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit as I watch the Disciples learn (and not learn) from their mistakes. When Jesus corrects the Disciples, it sometimes feels that He is talking directly to me. This is a learning journey, one that is humbling and is bringing me closer to who God wants me to be. What about you?