Jesus was about 30 years old when He concluded His work as a carpenter in His home town of Nazareth and set out on His 3 ½ years of public ministry. It has been rightly called the year of obscurity as not much is recorded about it in the Gospels. In John 1:35-51 there is an account of Jesus making His first disciples during this year.
The man to whom Jesus spoke the words of our verse was a man named Nathaniel. He became a disciple of Jesus but did not make it to the list of the twelve apostles (Mark 3:16). Nathaniel was told about Jesus by a friend named Philip. Philip had looked for Nathaniel to tell him that he had found the long awaited Messiah who was named Jesus and came from Nazareth.
When Nathaniel heard that Jesus was from Nazareth he was skeptical about the idea of the Messiah coming from such a humble and obscure place. But Nathaniel decided to come and see this person for himself. When he came to Jesus, Jesus spoke to him and told him where Philip found him and what he was doing when Philip found him.
This was truly miraculous because Nathaniel knew that Jesus was at a distance too great for Him to see him under the fig tree talking to Philip. Immediately Nathaniel confessed that Jesus was a divine person. He called Jesus the Son of God and the King of Israel.
Jesus also told Nathaniel about his heart and about his honesty (John 1:47). Nathaniel knew himself to be a sincere person but how could this man simply look on him and see what was in his heart? No mere mortal could do such a thing. This man Jesus must be God in order to know all these things.
Jesus acknowledged that Nathaniel had seen great things when he spoke of Jesus as he did. However, there was more to see after coming to understand the divinity and saving work of Jesus. What Jesus then said was amazing also.
“…you shall see heaven open,
and the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 1:51 (NIV)
Jesus goes farther in identifying Himself as the One Who reveals the things of heaven to humanity. Nathaniel had learned a lot in a few moments with Jesus but there were greater things still to learn. Never think that you know it all about this man called Jesus. As you walk with Him in this life He will continue to make more of Himself and His love for you known.
Each time you come to a fork in the road and need guidance about which way to turn He will guide you. Every time you find the burden of life too much He will lift it off your shoulders and carry it for you.
What have you seen of Jesus? Do you have the same regard for Him as Nathaniel did that momentous day when he first met Him? Remember that Jesus knows your innermost thoughts and motives. He is able to carry you when you are too weary in life to walk on your own. Come to Him today and ask for knowledge and a better revelation of Him than you already have. He awaits your prayer.