See what Happens, Under The Fig Tree
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
I think this is one of the most misunderstood statements in the bible. Philip & Nathanael were probably best friends, excitedly Philip finds his best friend and tells him in a highly intelligent way that he has found the Messiah.
Philip must have been in sales, he positions the need, Moses in the law, the written law proclaims a Messiah will come and the law must be fulfilled, then proposes the solution to the law by identifying the name of Jesus, son of Joseph. However, Philip used the name of Jesus in Aramaic, which is Y’shua, which is the same name as Joshua in the old testament, and this means: Yahweh is Salvation and his dad is Joseph from Nazareth.
People tend to place the worst prejudice on Nathanael because he said: “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
When I look at this, I see a young man that has spent a great deal of time studying the scriptures and he knows that the Messiah must come out of Bethlehem. Naturally, he is very skeptical about this new revelation.
This is also a time of the Holy Spirit moving in their lives. John the Baptist has been preaching and preparing the way for Jesus. Then Jesus removes all of Nathanael’s skepticism with his introduction by saying: "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
This catches Nate’s attention, basically, the conversation then goes like this, ‘How do you know me?’ and Jesus responds, ‘Before you left, I saw you sitting under the fig tree.’ Nathanael is a skeptic but why would this one statement change his whole belief system instantly? He immediately responds by saying, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
I believe that before Phillip approached Nathanael under the fig tree, which is very symbolic of the nation of Israel, as well as a symbolic type of covering, Nathanael had probably been praying to God, possibly even asking about the Messiah, he’s just heard John the Baptist preach;
“Make straight the way of the Lord”
Nathanael was preparing his heart for the arrival of the Messiah; little did expect Jesus to show up that day.
There’s no such thing as a coincidence with God.
He is: Elohim Shama
The God Who Hears
* Source: Twelve Ordinary Men, author John MacArthur