In our chat today about John 1, I’d like to focus on a very interesting detail that sometimes gets glossed over by many readers. It’s the issue of Natanael’s location when he heard about Jesus the Messiah. Believe it or not, its got a lot to do with you today…right now…right where you are.
Take a look at this chunk toward the end of John 1…
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.”
51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Its interesting because when Philip told Nathanel about Jesus, Nathanael was under a fig tree. “So what?” you might ask. “What’s the big deal?” Well, we’re told that Nathanael was alone under the fig tree. Read a few verses before verse 48 and you’ll see some of the thoughts that Nathanael had while under the fig tree. Not to mention that fig tree branches often grew to the ground, so being under a fig tree was actually a very common place that people would go for privacy and quiet for thought.
Whatever the reason, whatever it was that was conveyed by Jesus to Nathanael, it was more than sufficient for Nathanael to make the declarative statement in verse 49: “It’s YOU! You’re the Son of God! The King of Israel! You’re the ONE!” And it was the simple reality that Nathanael knew that he was known that brought him to this conclusion.
That’s powerful isn’t it? Think about it. God knows you. God knows where you are right now. He knows the thoughts in your head. He knows the desires of your heart, no matter what they are. He knows how you feel about Him. He knows your past. He knows your future. He knows every hair on your head. He knows your tomorrow. He knows your yesterday. He knows your secrets, even that one that you’re trying so hard to keep from everyone else. He knows you.
And He loves you. He cares about the things that you think, the things you face, the things you do, the things you say. He cares about you. He loves you and the fact that He knows every intimate detail of who you are does nothing to diminish His love for you. He’s going to keep on loving you with an everlasting love until you will turn to Him and receive Him and His love, and allow Him to lead you in life, just as He led Nathanael, starting that very moment.