Today in the church we remember Nathanael, so we read this amazing Gospel passage, in which there are so many interesting moments: “Can anything good come from Nazareth”, “Come and see”, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no deception in him.”, “You will see greater things than this”… Each of them is suitable for a separate inspiration for prayer and reflection. Today I stopped at the words: “I saw you under the fig tree”. I am not the first or the last to wonder what actually happened underneath that tree and how much it must have mattered to Nathanael as he immediately recognises that Jesus is the Son of God. I think that the version shown in “The Chosen” (S2, E2) looks quite likely, where Nathanel experiences a situation in which his life fell apart. Under the fig tree, he says goodbye to his plans, asking God why they were ruined, since he was sure about serving Him all the time. There he also opens up to God’s guidance and finally allows Jesus from a suspicious Nazareth to assure him that he will see more than he can imagine.
Each of us has moments in our lives when we cannot understand why our history unfolded this way and not another. We may feel that everything is going in the opposite direction to what we previously recognised as God’s way. Meanwhile, maybe this is the moment when Jesus tells us clearly: “You will see greater things than this!”. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but ultimately He will show us a perspective much broader and more amazing than our narrow and human imaginations.
The key to this story, however, may be “no deception”. It seems that coming to God in simplicity, telling Him what hurts us the most and at the same time opening ourselves to the unknown, will be closer to God’s way than forcing Him to implement even the most pious, but still our, plan.