When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.
Commentators note that many observant Jews in Bible times would go and study the law under the fig tree. So, apparently, Nathaneal was a diligent student. Judging from his response to Philip, he was diligent enough to have strong notions of the Messiah’s coming. And this day here was just another day ‘in the office.’
Nathanael seemed like a steady man. I bet he put in his time, scanned the scriptures, and did his due diligence. More and likely he was a pious and devoted man, but also a bit cynical. He’d been around the block a few times. But, being the principled man that he was, he kept to his books.
Sounds like a picture of the typical, middle aged, Christian. Hard working, devoted, principled. We have our routines and we faithfully serve God.
But sometimes there’s a nagging feeling…
While serving God we feel alone. We wonder at times if He really cares. Is He really paying attention? Our convictions say yes, but our feelings don’t always correspond. We keep our nose to the grind stone, but yet we get little recognition. Day in, day out, same ole thing, just another day, yada yada yada. Does anybody care?
So let me conjecture: Here’s Nathanael… faithful, but a bit jaded and lonely, speaking to the carpenter from Nazareth, “How do you know me?”
“When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
“You saw me!?”
I saw you.
Those are some strong words. Those are needed words. Some of us need to hear those words from the Master today. “I SEE YOU.”
Ahhhhhh. Jesus sees you. He’s with you. When you have felt alone, you weren’t. When you have felt overlooked, you haven’t been. Your devotion has not gone unnoticed. Jesus sees it all.
What’s your “fig tree” today? Is it your job, your spouse, your children, your ministry? It may be your secret, yet faithful service. Whatever it is, you may feel alone, but take courage from the Scriptures: Jesus is with you. You’re working hard, and not one person in the world may know of it, but God does.
When you’re under the fig tree, the master says, ‘I see you.’