Jesus knows you. Jesus sees the real you. He see the person He created, the gifts, the talents, the personality and the potential. He knows you from your molecules to your mind. He knows everything about you. Encountering Jesus is life changing. He revolutionizes you and your future. What the world sees as a quirk, He sees as an asset. What the world sees as a flaw, Jesus uses to transform the world.
In John chapter 1 we read about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Verse 35 says, “The next day.” But from reading the other gospels, we know that at least 40 days had transpired between Jesus’ baptism and the following events. So either the encounter with John the Baptist was a different encounter than the baptism or “the next day” means on another day at a later time. I tend to think the latter is true. Cultures have different ways of expressing ideas including time. My Jamaican friend always says, “the other day” even when she is referring to months or years past. So to me this makes sense.
Verses 35-37 read,
“The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.”
These men had been waiting their entire lives for the Messiah, and they had been following John the Baptist and learning about the Messiah from Him. So when John pointed Jesus out to them, they recognized Him, believed, and followed. They were seeking the Christ, and they found Him. They no longer needed John’s tutelage, they were following the Lamb of God Himself.
The two disciples, Andrew and another went after Jesus. Jesus asked them what they were looking for. They answered by calling Him Rabbi and asking where He was staying. This was sort of like saying, “Teacher, we plan to go with you wherever you’re going, is there a floor for us to sleep on?” Jesus took them with Him and they stayed with Him the whole day.
Andrew went and found his brother Simon and brought Simon to meet Jesus. And immediately upon meeting Simon, Jesus changed him. We do not remember him as Simon, we know him as Peter. Andrew knew his brother was just as passionate to find the Christ as he was. He couldn’t let the chance go for Simon to know Jesus. And when Jesus met Simon, He said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (Verse 42).
Simon was changed at that first moment. Jesus spoke prophetically to this man, although he couldn’t have known or understood at the time. He changed his name to Peter, which means rock. After Jesus’ ascension impetuous passionate Peter became the leader of the Christian movement. And Jesus let him know, He saw him for more than the world saw him. He saw Peter’s potential and future. He saw past his sin, and he saw what some considered flaws as the gifts they really were.
It was soon after that Jesus met Phillip and called him to follow. Phillip went and found Nathaniel and said, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Nathaniel was a very frank individual and he answered, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathaniel didn’t bother putting a filter on his thoughts, he was direct. Nazareth was a tiny poor place with a poor reputation. Other Jews considered the town immoral and conquered by the Romans. But Phillip encouraged Nathaniel to come and see for himself. Nathaniel may have been forthright and even blunt but he was not closed. He went and met Jesus. Verse 47 records Jesus reaction to Nathaniel.
“Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
Jesus saw what many people considered a flaw, Nathaniel’s candor and called it something good. Jesus saw Nathaniel for who he was created to be. He saw him through love. Nathaniel replied, “How do you know me?”
And so Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Before Phillip called Nathaniel, Jesus already saw him and chose him. Before whoever led you to Christ told you about Jesus, He already saw you and called you and knew you. He knew Nathaniel already. Now Nathaniel would have a chance to know Him.
Nathaniel was amazed that Jesus had known he’s been under a fig tree and said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
I picture Jesus laughing kindly and saying, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” Then Jesus speaks a truth deeper than they could recognize at that moment. He gave them a glimpse of the glorious future. Verse 51 reads,
“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.”
Jesus changed the lives of the men who followed Him. He saw them for who they were. He saw them for who they could be and would be. He is El Roi, the God Who Sees Me (Genesis 16:13). He sees you too. He knows you. He loves you. Those things you might not like about yourself, He loves. Those things the world thinks are imperfections, blemishes, and defects, Jesus sees as gifts, talents, and the tools you will use to serve Him.
Jesus knows you! Jesus loves you! He loves you, not in spite of who you are but because you are who you are.