“As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ””
– John 1:47-51
This passage of John 1:47-51 is so awesome!!!
Jesus does 3 things here that are incredible…
He Identifies Nathaniel! ”A genuine son of Israel – a man of complete integrity!” I read this and wonder to myself if Nathaniel saw himself this way. I often hear people speak of people in one light, knowing that the people they speak (many times myself) of don’t really view themselves in that manner.
He then confirms Nathaniel! “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” You see, we often see ourselves in a certain light, and that causes us doubt and delay. Yet Jesus, will remind us of something or someplace, and that gives us the assurance that He really knows and understands us. Not that we should need the assurance, but our self doubt, lack of faith, and/or listening to the thoughts of others keeps us from truly accepting the call from Christ without hesitation.
He Employs Nathaniel! “Do you believe this, because I saw you under THE fig tree. You will see greater things than this.” Jesus speaks to the part of Nathaniel that has longing and faith for the coming Messiah. Jesus speaks to Nathaniel, like Jesus would later speak to Lazarus – “to come out of the grave”! Jesus speaks so plainly…”You will see GREATER THINGS than this!”
I often wonder if Nathaniel was like me. Jesus Identified me, Confirmed me to Himself, then Employed my faith and trust…yet many times I go the wrong direction, because I am afraid, I have doubt, or I am in pain.
This Easter Season, I want the ICE of Jesus to move me behind my fear, my doubt, my pain – to the place of THE fig tree – where He first saw me!