This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write. John 1:45.
Philip called Nathanael. The latter had been among the throng when the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. As Nathanael looked upon Jesus, he was disappointed. Could this man, who bore the marks of toil and poverty, be the Messiah? Yet Nathanael could not decide to reject Jesus, for the message of John had brought conviction to his heart.
At the time when Philip called him, Nathanael had withdrawn to a quiet grove to meditate upon the announcement of John and the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He prayed that if the one announced by John was the deliverer, it might be made known to him, and the Holy Spirit rested upon him with assurance that God had visited His people and raised up a horn of salvation for them….
The message, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,” seemed to Nathanael a direct answer to his prayer. But Philip had yet a trembling faith. He added doubtfully, “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Again prejudice arose in Nathanael’s heart. He exclaimed, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
Philip entered into no controversy. He said, “Come and see.” “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, “Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”
It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree now spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Though in doubt, and yielding somewhat to prejudice, Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. His faith went beyond that of the one who had brought him to Jesus. He answered and said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
If Nathanael had trusted to the rabbis for guidance, he would never have found Jesus. It was by seeing and judging for himself that he became a disciple. So in the case of many today whom prejudice withholds from good. How different would be the result if they would “come and see”!
While they trust to the guidance of human authority, none will come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Like Nathanael, we need to study God’s Word for ourselves, and pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. He who saw Nathanael under the fig tree will see us in the secret place of prayer. Angels from the world of light are near to those who in humility seek for divine guidance (The Desire of Ages, 139-141).