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Put “X” right and the whole world will be right

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” … Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1: 43-51
 

Put “X” right and the whole world will be right, will be perfect and will be superb for evermore.

Please replace the “X” with your own thoughts. Here are a few possibilities –
• Put right Russia’s military presence in Ukraine.
• Put right the huge debts of America and every EU country.
• Put right all cancers.

Do those possibilities work? Will all be well with the world even if all those things are done? In order to test the focus of Jersey folk on internal matters, are there any Jersey answers to the sentence, “Put “X” right and the whole world will be right”?

Here are some possibilities.
• Put right the building of an office block by the States on the Esplanade.
• Put right the taxation system which taxes the wages of the hotel chambermaid but not the profits of the hotel owner.
• Put right the sea defences to cope with global warming.
 
 
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‘The true problem lies in the hearts and thoughts of men... What terrifies us is not the explosive force of the atomic bomb, but the power of the wickedness of the human heart. (Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, 1879-1955)

Will all be well with the whole world for evermore if any one – or even all – of these are put right?

Take a look now at the words in bold above from the very first page of the eye-witness biography of Jesus Christ written by John around AD 90. Jesus is finding people and saying, “Follow me.” One of them, Philip, has a friend named Nathaniel. Philip is pretty well convinced that this Jesus is indeed the Messiah about whom Moses had written around BC 1350.

Nathaniel, hearing that Jesus comes from Nazareth, questions how this could be, given Nazareth’s bad reputation. Nevertheless he goes along with Philip.

When the two of them draw near to Jesus, Jesus says, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” This is a play on words because the name “Israel” was the name of a man whose original name was “Jacob” meaning “deceiver”. At the same time, therefore, it’s a compliment to Nathaniel – Nathaniel is not a deceiver. He asks, “How do you know me?”

Jesus replies, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” No-one has any idea whatsoever what Nathaniel had been doing under a fig-tree. But, obviously, Nathaniel knew what he’d been doing – and he is absolutely amazed by Jesus’ words. He replies, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

But that’s not the end of this opening incident in John’s eye-witness biography. Jesus provided the “X” which, try as we might (above), we couldn’t find. He says to Nathaniel, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” … “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Heaven opened? Angels of God going up and coming down between heaven and earth? Jesus Christ, Son of Man, the ladder, the stairway? Fellowship between humans and God restored through Jesus? Death is no more?
 
 
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‘If God were not willing to forgive sin, through his Son, heaven would be empty.’ (Anon.)

What is the real “X” which, if put right will put the whole world right forever?

Is this it: Put right “the broken fellowship of human beings with heaven above” and all is well?

Or this: Put right “death itself” (where death is life without God) and heaven and earth are re-joined and all is well for ever more?
 
 
Richard Syvret

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