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Under the Fig Tree

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”1

It is a common misconception that God will only speak to you while in church or will only reveal himself to you during a worship service or revival. We believe that God will find us when we are at our best spiritually; otherwise, we doubt he can even see us, let alone use us.

John the Baptist had been preparing his followers for the arrival of Jesus the Messiah, so upon seeing Him, they quickly began to follow Him. These disciples not only followed Jesus, but they were eager to tell their brothers and friends that they had found “The Messiah” (John 1:41). When Jesus called the disciple Phillip to follow Him, he too ran to tell a friend. Like many of our friends and family, Phillip’s friend, Nathanael, responded a little skeptical and doubtful (John 1:45-46). Upon Phillip’s persuasion, Nathanael followed and found that Jesus already knew him; not only knew him, but Jesus had been watching Nathanael! (John 1:48) Jesus had observed Nathanael sitting under a tree, possibly submerged in his own thoughts; unaware that God knew those thoughts and counted Nathanael as an asset in building God’s kingdom. As Nathanael approached Jesus, he realized that Jesus had been waiting for him to come and follow Him! Imagine the emotions Nathanael felt upon learning that Jesus had personally handpicked him, even though he had doubted and had not come running when he had heard Jesus was in town.

Jesus is still keeping an eye out for His followers today. You might be feeling a little skeptical about the Lord’s grace and mercy. You might be on the fence about fully surrendering to God. Maybe you have a friend whom you know needs to hear about Jesus but are unsure of their reaction. Know, today, that Jesus has already chosen his children - those who will follow him and be His disciples. It is up to us to take that first step in following the call of the Messiah. Tell that friend today that you have found Jesus and persuade them to follow; it may be that Jesus has already had His eye on them too, even under the fig tree!

Suggested Prayer:

Dear Lord, you are so mighty and so loving. You have sought each of us out individually and have a plan for our lives that will bring glory and honor to you; all we have to do is follow. Thank you for choosing me for your Kingdom. I ask for the courage to bring others to you too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  1. John 1:48.

Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.