“I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” John 1: 48
These words are uttered by Jesus to Nathanael. When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, Jesus exclaimed about him saying, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false” (v.47). Jesus gave a positive testimony about Nathanael.
How did Jesus know who he is? Jesus in his omnipresence knew what Nathanael was doing especially under the fig tree. We are not told by John what Nathanael was doing, but only that whatever he did made Jesus to give a good testimony about him.
Men judge us by what we do in front of them. But God judges us by what we do when no one is around us.
This is the same message Samuel received from God. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16: 7).
God is calling us to be careful and diligent, not only in front of men, but also when we are alone.
Satan tempts us when we are alone. When no one is watching, he urges us to savour the pleasures of the sin. But resist the evil.
What we do when no one is around determines who we are. If we are to be appreciated like Nathanael, we also need to be like him.