August 24, 2019
(St. Bartholomew (Nathanael), Apostle)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jn_1:45-51
Always loved this set of verses. Makes us wonder, just what was it about Nathanael under the fig tree that prompted him to believe in Jesus’ divinity? Well, Jewish thinking of the time was that the fig tree was a symbol of Israel. And being “under the fig tree” is a Jewish concept for the Messianic Age. So when Philip came and told his brother Nathanael that they found the Messiah, by Jesus mentioning being under the fig tree, it was his confirmation of exactly what Philip had said. And it was the fulfillment of all that Nathanael was praying for.
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