"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When I was a teenager, it was often my job to watch my younger brothers. At that time, our home life was challenging and hard. When nightfall came, two little guys would tiptoe into my room and snuggle in for a story.
“Say a word,” I’d whisper.
“Dragon!” one little brother would say.
“Forest,” said the other.
I’d weave a story about a fierce dragon caught in a forest, two little guys hanging on every word. Before long, they’d calm down, go back to their own room, and fall asleep. I didn’t know it back then, but storytelling was a gift God placed in my DNA. It wasn’t just a knack for telling stories, but something He would use for His purposes.
In John 1, Nathanael is walking toward Jesus. They are about to cross paths for the first time. As they get close, Jesus tells those within hearing distance that Nathanael is a good man.
This puzzles Nathanael.
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48 NIV).
Nathanael had never met Jesus, but Jesus saw him for who he was from the beginning.
I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in that. Long before we have everything figured out, Jesus sees us. He knows our character. He sees the gifts God placed inside of us. He knows that we are a part of the beautiful plan God has for this world.
Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) became a disciple of Jesus. He traveled across India, Armenia, Ethiopia, and Southern Arabia, sharing the Gospel. He drew many to Christ.
When I was telling stories to my brothers as a teenager, I didn’t understand that this gift would not just comfort two little boys’ hearts but would also be used to share the Gospel years later.
You may feel ordinary. Your unique giftings might not seem like a big deal to you. You may wonder if God even sees you. Take heart! Jesus knows and sees you. He sees who you once were. He sees who you are becoming. He sees who you were always meant to be.
He sees how you take something ordinary and make it beautiful. He sees how you bring a gift of lightheartedness to a room. He delights as you create music or words. He loves that you are good with children. He understands that you are a dreamer or a planner or that you have a natural ability to lead. Whatever it is about you that is unique, He sees and knows that.
Why is this so important?
When we grasp the fact that Jesus knows and sees us, we begin to see ourselves through His lens. We step into that “knowing” with a heart of joy and that changes us, which changes the direction of our lives. We not only embrace that we are known and seen, but share that news with others, which changes their heart too.
You are known. You are seen. That’s a truth worth celebrating.
Father, You see and know me. That’s such a sweet truth. You see my past. You see my hurts. You see what I’ve gone through, but You also see my gifts, my purpose, and how those can make a difference in the world. How awesome it is to be known and seen by You!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Jesus sees that gift in you. How might that change the way you see yourself?
Today, consider one gift God has placed inside of you. Write down one way it has impacted others, whether in your family, community, church, or in any other environment.
Thank God that He sees and knows you. Thank Him for that gift and ask Him to continue to use it to love others in His name.
More from the Girlfriends
In Suzie’s book, Spirit-Led Heart, you are invited to discover a Helper who knows the heart of the Father over you.
The Holy Spirit is not a mystery but rather a promise to help you live your faith wherever you are.
Read the first chapter free, as well as find other freebies, here.
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