Have you spent time under the fig tree? Do you remember the account in the first chapter of the Gospel of John about Nathanael's first encounter with Jesus? The Lord made a declaration about Nathanael's character that someone who had not met him couldn't know. Nathanael was shocked. Of course we understand how the Son of God would know us intimately, but Nathanael had to ask Jesus how He knew. Jesus' answer stirs my heart. He simply said, "I saw you under the fig tree." That convinced Nathanael that Jesus was God. Can you imagine what had happened to Nathanael under the fig tree? Are you spending time under your fig tree?
I have just been polishing a poem on Nathanael's encounter for a book of poems I have written through The Gospel of John. I have been wanting to introduce this book to you who read my blog before it is released, mostly so you would begin praying for it. So I am presenting this poem to you in advance.
Before and after each poem I have a place for readers to make notes. Here I have lines printed before the poem. But after it I have given some of my own insights.
UNDER THE FIG TREE
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
What did Nathanael hear underneath the fig tree
As the heavens drew near in his secret place?
Did he think of Hagar and the God who could see?
Did he shrink like Moses from seeing God's face?
Did he shake in the trembling silence of his awe?
His heart quake at God whispering His call?
Jesus sought another who would another bring.
So He brought up Phillip with his gentile name.
Phillip hailed Nathaniel, "We've found the coming King."
Nathanael assailed Nazareth before he came.
“Can any good come from such a backwater place?"
Phil could only offer, "Come see Him face to face."
Jesus told Nathaniel as he came into sight,
"Behold an Israelite without any deceit"
"How could you know me?" was his startled reply
"I saw you bow ‘neath the bush when you took retreat.”
Nathanael was amazed. His heart could only sing
With His soul ablaze, “You are the King of Kings!”
“Because I said I saw you, have you now believed?
Greater pause you'll take as the Son of Man's revealed.
Only a glimpse of heaven have you now received.
You’ll wince at my glory as before me you kneel.
You will yet rejoice to see angels descending,
With a voice like thunder the heavens rending?”
God does know you no matter what. But Jesus pointed specifically to a time Nathanael spent alone with Him.
I suspect Jesus' declaration about Nathanael confirmed what God was doing in his life. What declaration will Jesus make from your time alone with Him?
What will He yet reveal of Himself to you? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________