On Friday I talked about an encounter between 2 of Jesus’ disciples, Philip & Nathanael, & the importance of sharing the Gospel with the people we encounter regularly. The encounter, in John 1:43-46 didn’t end there. It proceeds with Nathanael going with Philip to meet Jesus…& we’ll pick up the story there…
“Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered & said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered & said to Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered & said to him, because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And He said to him, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.'” – John 1:48-51
In the first part of the encounter Philip tells Nathanael about the Messiah & Nathanael doubts what he’s seen. Philip tells him to “come & see” for himself, so he does. When he gets to meet Jesus, Jesus tells him something He couldn’t have known unless Philip had told him (which he didn’t because they went to meet him together) or He truly was the Son of God & was all-knowing. Nathanael believes in the identity of Jesus as the Christ immediately & Jesus tells Him, in more words than this, “oh buddy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
This part really got me. Not only is it important for us to share Christ & invite others to “come & see,” but it’s also so incredibly important for us to follow God’s call on our heart. God’s call for each of us looks different from others- it is unique to each of us. Our first call is to come to know Him, but from there, He may call us to be missionaries at home, in our state, or the world. He may call us to use particular talents for different reasons in different cases. He may call us to do something as simple as to help a stranger…or as huge as move to a foreign country to share His word & be a light to the nations. Whatever His call is, it will call us from our comfort zone to do something greater for His glory…and when He calls, we will each have our own “fig tree” moment.
Our “fig tree” moments will be like Nathanael’s…it will look totally different, but it will probably be composed of the same things- doubt, fear, curiosity, & a decision. We may doubt whether what we’re hearing is true or real. We may be afraid…because we’re more comfortable under our “fig tree” than if we leave it. Ultimately, though, we will have to make a decision. We have to decide- are we going to answer the call or stay where we are? Where we are is comfortable…we KNOW what to expect…if we leave, we may not be able to handle it…but if we stay, we will be missing out on the most incredible thing ever in our lives. I mean, really, look at the scripture- Nathanael goes & he is wowed by Christ’s knowledge of where he just was…and that was it. And yet Christ says, “You think that’s awesome? You’re getting ready to see things you’ve never seen before!”
Do you want to miss out on that? I know I don’t! Sure…my “fig tree” is comfy & safe for now, but it may not always be. And beyond that, do we REALLY want to miss out on seeing God move in incredible, indescribable, miraculous ways? Do we really want to miss out being a part of what He’s doing in this world? People have said to me before “oh, you basically have to go to a foreign country to see God move like that.” My answer is absolutely not! You just have to get off your butt & out from whatever your “fig tree” is that’s holding you back. You have to be willing to let go of what YOU want & be willing to lean on Christ & Him alone. When you do, you will see the world from His perspective, you will see Him move when others are blinded. You will see & be a part of things you would regret missing if you ignore His call to “come & see.”
But…the choice is yours. How will you answer when He calls?
Be blessed, friends.