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Season 2 Episode 2 Nathaniel

Dr. Shane

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Nathaniel is a failed architect in The Chosen.  In utter defeat, he felt abandoned by God.  Then Philip came and told him about the Messiah.  Not really sure, Nathaniel reluctantly agrees to go and see.  When Jesus tells him "I saw you under the fig tree," Nathaniel is convinced.  This backstory by The Chosen is to teach the viewers that God sees us in our pain even when we feel He has abandoned us.  It is a nice story and the lesson is Biblically accurate.  But Seventh-day Adventists are not likely to believe the backstory is anywhere close to a good guess.

Seventh-day Adventists believe Ellen White (1827-1915) had the Biblical gift of prophecy. She received visions and talked to angels. There is much disagreement about exactly how that was manifested (see Ellen G. White). However, Mrs. White tells the story in her book Desire of Ages with details far different than the made-up back story of The Chosen.  Nathaniel was a disciple of John the Baptist.  He was there when John called Jesus the Lamb of God.  But Jesus was a working man.  Jesus was a humble man. Nathaniel saw "no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isa. 53:2).  Yet Nathaniel did not simply reject the idea that Jesus could be the Messiah. Nathaniel started studying prophecy.  Under the fig tree, he prayed that if Jesus was the Messiah, it would be made clear to him.  Just as Nathaniel was praying, Philip showed up.  Philip's claim, "We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write" was an answer to his prayer.  Yet, when Nathaniel heard Jesus was from Nazareth, prejudice again caused him to doubt.  Philip answered, "Come and see."

The version Ellen White tells is simular to the struggle many agnostics experience today.  Many are honest with themselves.  They do not want to believe in a lie.  The gospel story of Jesus seems too good to be true.  It is the ultimate fairy tale that ends with an eternal happily ever after.  Many agnostics want to believe the gospel story but feel intellectual honesty keeps them from accepting it without just a little more proof.  For Nathaniel, Jesus seeing him under the fig tree was enough.  For many agnostics today, finding freedom from addiction is enough.  Or, being restored in a relationship with a loved one is enough.  God still does miracles and provides signs for those willing to accept Him.


Pastoral Family Counselor... Find me at www.PostumCafe.com

Author of  Peculiar Christianity

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