John 1:48 – Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
When the Lord Jesus Christ beheld Nathanael and said unto him: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! The Lord was giving a positive attestation of Nathanael, proving he was truly a child of God having no iniquity in him (fraud, deceit, deviousness, craftiness, cunning) and therefore of a clean heart. Can the Lord positively attest of us today, knowing what is in our hearts? Christ looks at the heart for it is what comes out of the heart that defiles a man (Matthew 15:11). Can the Lord boldly say the same of us today?
Nathanael was stunned at this attestation but the Lord explained unto him what he meant, and said: Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. The fig tree Christ was referring to here was NOT the literal fig tree; the Lord was saying that Nathanael was a true seed of Abraham. In spiritual language, the seed of Abraham are regarded as the fig tree. All that are chosen, for whom Christ died and who have accepted his salvation and believe in the price he paid for sin (in his sufferings, death, descent into hell and resurrection) are referred to spiritually, as the seed of Abraham from the fig tree (John 1:12).
May the Lord grant us the grace to be clean and pure at heart, that he may at all times without any hesitation attest to our sonship (Matthew 10:32-33).