Intro: In our passage today, Nathaniel meets Jesus for the first time. However, Jesus makes it clear he knows all about Nathaniel and his character long before they actually meet face to face. Jesus reveals a bit of mystery to Nathaniel when he relates having seen him sitting under the fig tree. What was Nathaniel doing that Jesus saw or heard? Was he praying and confessing his love for God or a desire to be pure and holy for the Lord? Maybe Nathaniel was reading Scripture and pondering the coming Messiah. A fig tree is often a biblical metaphor for God’s Kingdom coming to earth. Whatever Nathaniel was doing as he sat under the fig tree, his heart was focused on God, because Jesus knew the spiritual integrity of his heart.
Jesus knows all of our hearts and whether we have a hunger for holiness. When we confess our love to God, he hears us. When we invest time in reading the Word of God and finding ways to put it into practice in our lives, we are demonstrating spiritual integrity. The word, shalom, is associated with integrity, because it is a word that reveals wholeness. Jesus knows if we want to be spiritually whole or if we are just wanting a form of godliness.
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50 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.” 51 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.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for knowing the real me and understanding my desire for more of you in my life. I never have to pretend to be anything, but who I am. You bring me acceptance, as well as growth and I am so very grateful. Thank you for helping me experience a bit of heaven on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.