October 14, 2019

Under the Fig Tree

Devotion for the Week...

Last week's devotion was about Philip going to find Nathanael so he could bring him to meet Jesus. Today I want to look at Nathanael's reaction to his first meeting with Jesus. Let's start by reading John's account of it:

"As [Philip and Nathanael] approached, Jesus said, 'Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.'
'How do you know about me?' Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, 'I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.'
Then Nathanael exclaimed, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!'" (John 1:47-49).

I have to admit, I never thought much of these couple of verses. If anything, I figured Nathanael was amazed by Jesus' ability to see beyond His physical surroundings and that impressed Nathanael enough to make him understand that Jesus was who He claimed to be. But this summer I read a devotion that wondered about the significance of the time Nathanael spent sitting under that fig tree. Was there something deeper going on, something that made Jesus' words more than just a simple statement of "I could see you"? That made me think of my father-in-law and a story I heard him tell several years ago.

I don't know the circumstances, but there was a time when he was feeling really down and he sat in his chair and prayed, "God do you even know where I am and do you even care anymore?" Twenty minutes later he got a phone call from a man who said he had been in prayer and God gave him a message.

"What's the message?" my father-in-law asked.

"God wanted me to tell you He does know where you are, He does care for you and He wants to bless you."

I don't think there's anything that could make a person feel more seen by God than getting a direct and immediate answer to such a cry.

Was Nathanael feeling something similar to my father-in-law as he sat under the fig tree? Did he feel alone, as if God didn't even care anymore about whatever it was he was facing? If so, then Jesus' statement that He could see Nathanael sitting under the fig tree would have conveyed a deep reassurance that went way beyond the words we read.

I don't know what you're facing today, but I do know that God knows where you are. In the midst of our hardest days, when we feel alone and like no one cares, He sees us and He cares deeply for us.
In the midst of our hardest days, God sees us and cares for us | DevotedQuilter.com
Background is my Blowing in the Wind quilt.
1 Peter 1:7 says, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." Even if your worry is that He doesn't care anymore, give that to Him, too. He doesn't get angry or offended when we feel that way. He simply wants us to cry out to Him so He can give us the reassurance we need.


  1. What a beautiful story about your father-in-law!!! Thank you for sharing it. And your quote is so encouraging.

  2. Thank you for the verse from 1 Peter and this encouraging devotion.


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