Nathanael’s Story is Our Story

Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.                                                                                                                                      –St. John 1:48

I’ve read this story many times and didn’t get the depths of this until this morning.  I would read it and think ‘how did Jesus know that Nathaniel had no deceit’ in his heart. Well, of course, Jesus knew all things and as I began to meditate on this more, I realized the depths to which Christ knew men’s hearts.  

He knows our heart better than we know our own.  Jesus’ first declaration to Nathaniel was  “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”  How did he know that about him?  What convinced the disciple that Jesus was the Messiah?   Jesus saw Nathaniel in a private way, that apparently no one knew about–under the fig tree. 


There was a comfort in reading that one passage because sometimes we can be confused or disappointed by our actions and why we do the things we do.  Looking back, how we handle things may not turn out well and a thing we do, many not be the wisest course of action.  BUT, God always knows our intentions.  He knows the “truth” of every move.  In Psalms 139, David acknowledged the vastness of the knowledge of God.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways                                                                                                                                               Psalms 139:2-3

All of our actions come from the heart.

It is amazing to realize that God understands us better than we understand ourselves. Right now, God is looking at my heart, my innermost thoughts and figuring out a way to tell me what is there.

My husband yesterday had an amazing epiphany about is childhood and how that affected a long time problem he had been saddled with most of his adult life.   We both cried about it  ( happy tears) because as hard as had tried on his own to overcome this problem, he couldn’t until he got to the root of the problem—his father.

He took himself back to the times his dad used to beat his mother.  He recalled the drunken fights between his parents and how his brothers and sisters used to literally cower in one corner of one of the rooms in their house, away from the fighting.  The lack of safety and security he felt in that situation.  The way his father never attended anything that he did. Even when he placed well at a city speech contest in grade school, his father didn’t come to the event and never said a word of congratulations to him when he brought home a trophy.  He said that when he told his parents he was chosen to represent his school at the city contest, it was like telling them he was going to McDonald’s.  The level of interest was that low.   He now understood how he had allowed this to affect his professional drive in life and he understood habits he used to handle pressures.  The coping mechanisms were very difficult for even him to understand.

But Jesus understood all of that and chose yesterday to reveal that to him in depth, at 56 years old.

It’s never too late to learn about ourselves and what is hindering us from being all that we can be.

The beauty is: Christ sees us in the most private places and knows how to help us heal.

Author: Renee

I am an author and a retired minister. My passion is helping others find their sense of self and identity after so many years of losing my own. So often we go to church and are still not aware of our disconnection with our true selves. The person inside that God deeply values. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have 3 children. I love gourmet cooking, swimming, all kinds of music, and political and religious discussion- the two things my mom said never to talk about at the dinner table.