Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Under the Fig Tree, Jesus Asks a Question

Fig treeIn today’s Gospel (John 1:45-51), Jesus is in the process of recruiting his twelve Apostles. Jesus called Philip to follow, who in turn went to Nathanael to tell him about Jesus. Nathanael, the skeptic, doubted anything good could come from Nazareth. Yet, Philip persuaded Nathanael to come and meet Jesus. When the two met, Jesus commented about something that no one else would know. “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” (John 1:48)

Nathanael’s response to this comment is revelatory: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.” (John 1:49) I have always wondered how Nathanael came to such a conclusion, such a leap of faith. It can only be explained as a revelation of Truth. Jesus retorts back to Nathanael. “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?” (John 1:50)

Under the Fig Tree

“Under the Fig Tree” is a sign of messianic peace. Therefore, Nathanael comes from a place of peace. He finds his Peace in the Messiah, Jesus, who he declares with conviction as the Son of God, the King of Israel. Could Jesus find you sitting under the proverbial fig tree? Do you find your Peace in Christ? What brings you to believe in the salvific power of Christ, especially since you have not been given the opportunity to meet Jesus in the flesh? Do you feel called to follow Jesus, just like Nathanael and Philip? Jesus is calling you. Try looking under the fig tree. You just might find Him there waiting for you.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Zicherman.

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs.

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