When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do You know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” (John 1:47-48)
What moves my heart about this passage is how Jesus truly saw Nathanael. He didn’t just check out his appearance. He saw straight through to the inside of who Nathanael really was.
Jesus saw that Nathanael was a man of integrity, someone with a mindset to do the right thing, no matter what.
When Jesus expressed this, it was a goosebumps moment for Nathanael. The future apostle realized that Jesus knew his core, the thing that motivated him and made him tick.
There are other instances in the Bible where Jesus was the one who saw. In the story of the woman at the well, Jesus saw that the woman had gone through multiple marriages. When Jesus went to the town of Nain, he saw how deep the loss of a son was to a widow, and was moved to help her. When Jesus was at the Pool of Bethesda, he saw a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years and asked the insightful question, “Do you want to get well?”
Isn’t this what our heart longs for today? One of my life coach instructors teaches that people are always asking, “Do you see me?” We all so much want someone to “get” us. I know when I talk to someone and they lean into me with their listening, it feels like an itch is finally being scratched.
Because sometimes I feel with others like we’re not speaking the same language. I want to make a connection, but I don’t know the words. I want to matter, but my efforts fall flat.
We probably all feel that way at times. That’s why we need Jesus. He’s the one who can understand our language. He’s the one who sees straight through to the core of who we really are — what drives us, what we need, what makes our heart sing. It’s a rare and wonderful thing.
We can realize that we’re not alone. We’re never an island.
And we can know that because Jesus sees, his heart is moved, and he acts on our behalf.
When we go through inner pain and turmoil, he leans into us, and weeps with us. There’s a communion that takes place.
I really like what Jeanie Shaw wrote about this in her blog today: “I am learning, in my relationship with God, that there is special sacredness in suffering and intimacy in infirmity.”
There can be intimacy, a closeness, in the midst of that thing that makes us feel most isolated.
Because Jesus is the one who sees.
You know, there’s so much in my life now that’s a testament to Jesus being the one who’s seen me, so many times when I’ve been given exactly what I needed. Marrying my husband is exactly what I needed, as was joining my church, and having the jobs I’ve had. Our move to Auburn ten years ago was exactly what I needed. My recent study of life coaching is exactly what I need.
The question is, what is my response to this?
Here’s what Nathanael’s response was to Jesus: “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus sees us. His heart is moved. He acts. This happens innumerably more times that we perceive.
But maybe, sometimes, we will get goosebumps, like Nathanael, and respond with faith, “You are the son of God. Only the divine could do this.”