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Hey! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm Lyn- wife, mother, writer, speaker, and yes- a former beauty queen. But don't let the title fool you, I'm just a country girl saved by a Grace I don't fully understand. I write about the journey with that amazing Grace here and I'd be delighted for you to join me.
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Tag Archives: Nearness of God
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Phillip and said to him “Follow me.” Now Phillip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Phillip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Phillip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Phillip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
I’d love to know what happened under that fig tree.
Nathanael wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. It was common practice for Jewish men to meditate on the Law under fig trees to escape the heat of the sun. But this sacred respite must have been altogether different. The day before, Jesus decided to leave Bethany across the Jordan(where John the Baptist was) to go to Galilee. It would appear that He was en route to the wedding in Cana. But the wedding was three days away. Why would Jesus arrive early? Perhaps Phillip and Nathanael had something to do with it.
“Decided” is translated from the Greek word “thelo“. It means “to will; not only willing something, but also pressing on to action; in the New Testament it denotes elective inclination, love.”
Jesus decided to go to Galilee…
I do not believe Jesus’ decision to go to Galilee three days early was accidental or mere coincidence. I believe it was pointed and purposeful. Everything He says or does is rife with meaning. He speaks and galaxies form. Planets spin. Waters divide. Light appears. His touch heals. His gaze transforms.
The first thing we are told is that Jesus finds Phillip. Then Phillip finds Nathanael.
An Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.
The Greek word used for “deceit” is “dolos“. It is sometimes translated “guile, trick, deceit, an attempt to mislead or bait others by telling lies”.
I can’t help but wonder if Nathanael poured his heart out to God under those branches. Confessing. Laying his soul bear. Purely. And the One who rewards those who seek Him came to the one without guile.
Before Phillip called you…When you were under the fig tree…I saw you.
Before. Before we know it. Before we feel it. He is always before.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me! You know when I sit and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high and I cannot attain it.
The Grace of God came to Nathanael that day. And He comes for you and me. Still. I hope He finds us under the fig tree.
Linking up with the lovely Laura…
So blessed and excited to head up to Pennsylvania today!
It’s almost midnight and I hear a knock at the door. My youngest makes a beeline for the door, leaping over pullout sofas and scattered suitcases.
Daddy is here!
The girls and I arrived at the beach a few days before my husband. We shopped and sunbathed. And every so often one of them would ask, “Is Daddy on his way yet?”
Don’t we all need to know our Father is near?
We walk through life with little that is certain. Politics. The economy. The stock market. Our health. Where do we find comfort? How do we know we’re going to be okay?
It is only in the presence of God that everything is really okay. God’s presence. Sounds lofty and holy and practically unattainable. But it isn’t. God is not this far off being reserved for heaven some day. He is right here. Right now. As we call on Him, He is near. Pressing in on our very earthly skin. And when we become aware of our Father’s nearness, we rest.
The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
A German pastor spoke these words to a dwindling congregation during the dark days of World War II:
Now everything will be all right, so long as we hear his good voice calling to us above the howling of the wolves, above the sound of branches snapping, above all the ominous noises around us.
Now everything will be all right, so long as we answer him and tell him everything.
Now everything will be all right and we shall be at peace when He who accomplished it all walks beside us.
Jesus has accomplished it all. He has brought us near to the Father by His blood. (Ephesians 2:13) So when the forest is dark and the wolves are howling we can cry out to our Father and He will answer. And He is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14)
Do you know His voice? Do you know He is near?
He is one word away. Jesus.
Linking with Sandra today …