I think we all wonder sometimes if in the grand scheme of things, God really sees us, knows us, can be bothered with us or what bothers us.
This verse intrigued me a couple of years ago and I posted about it. It has intrigued me once again this morning. I could just see the scene unfold before my eyes. After all I have a special fondness of fig trees from my childhood and spent a bit of time sitting under them myself.
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” John 1:48
As is always the case with Bible Study, in order to really understand a verse it is best to read the passage before. In the prior verses, you see the account of some of Jesus’ first disciples. In verse 23 Jesus calls Phillip and Phillip answers that call. In verse 25 Phillip shares this glorious good news, that he has found the one they’ve all been looking for, with his friend Nathanael. Nathanael is skeptical, to say the least.
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. John 1:46
Even with serious doubts, he is willing to go and see. When Jesus sees him coming he greets him in this manner. Did you notice what I just said? EVEN WITH SERIOUS DOUBTS, he is willing to go and see. Look, if you’re waiting until you are absolutely, 100% sure before you are willing to try, you’ll likely never move from right where you are seated under that fig tree, or in front of that computer screen or on that couch or in that same position at work.
As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” John 1:47
Wow! That’s quite amazing to me. He called him a man of complete integrity. Other translations say he is a man without deceit. And yet, he had doubts, serious doubts. He scoffed right out loud.
When our faith wavers, when we can’t bring ourself to believe, when we are struggling to understand, take heart, take courage. God knows who values truth and who is willing to seek out that truth. It is a good solid first step, even when it is taken with hesitation on our part.
It’s on those faith journeys that we find ourselves marveling that He knows about us and saw us before we turned His way. This truth grips my heart and squeezes until tears appear.
“How do you know me?” We might ask. He is aware. He is aware of you. He is aware of me. He is aware before the first steps on the journey of faith begins.
Whether you have never met Him or perhaps you have met Him many times before, let me be the friend, like Phillip, who says come and see! Jesus is calling. Come and see for yourself.