John 1-3 Remember the folk tale of the Tortoise and the Hare? Challenged to a race, they set off, and along the way, the hare became sleepy and lay down to nap. Steadily the Tortoise kept on, and when the hare awoke, to his dismay, saw that Tortoise was at the finish line. Some take it slow but get to the finish line ahead of others. The Apostle John tells a story of two men, much like the Tortoise and the Hare. One met Messiah and believed immediately, and the other took his time. It is only at the end of John’s epistle do we see him at the finish line…yes he did finish but not quickly.
Nathanael scoffed that nothing good could come out of Nazareth, but when he met Messiah face to face, he said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!” Jesus promised him that he would see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man, and he would be blessed.
And then, a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to him at night. He called him Rabbi but not with the earnestness or insight of Nathanael. Yet, by the end of John’s epistle, he will realize this truth: “Jesus is a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs…unless God is with him.”
Nathanael and Nicodemus are like the two folk tale characters. Each came to the same conclusion; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The truth is this: God is patient, not willing any should perish, but all come to repentance—whether they come early or late.
Which path are you on–and Where are you?