Have you ever felt all alone?
Loneliness is a pervading problem in today’s society. Kerby Anderson, president of Probe Ministries International, nationally syndicated columnist and author, says that in the 1950’s, about one in every ten households had only one person in them, who were mostly widows.
But today, because of the three D’s of social statistics (death, divorce, and deferred marriage), that number has changed to one in four. Sociologists estimate that if current trends continue, the ratio will increase to one in every three households by the twenty-first century. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/lonely.html
“Living together loneliness,” which occurs most often in middle-aged, married couples, and “crowded loneliness,” that results from people moving a lot and not knowing how to reach out to others in a new city, are two examples of loneliness occuring, even when people are close to each other physically, but emotionally distant.
Yet Anderson says this increasing loneliness in society gives the church an opportunity for outreach, fellowship, and friendship.
God sees when we are feeling alone and lonely. Jesus had just been baptized in the Jordan river by John the Baptist, and had called Peter, Andrew, Philip, and Nathanael with Him to be His disciples.
John 1:43-51 says, “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathaniel said to Him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater than these. And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Jesus saw Nathanael even when he was under the fig tree. God sees everything. We are not just a dot on the earth, not just like a little, worker ant, but a very important person in God’s sight. We have great value and a great purpose. God loved us enough to send Jesus his son to die for us.
Nathanael was amazed that Jesus had seen him. He wanted to know how Jesus knew him. Because He’s God! God knows us, too. He is the one who made us. He knows everything about us, even the numbers of hairs on our head. He knows our every thought.
He knows about all our sins, too ~ and loves us anyway and wants an intimate relationship with us. Jesus told Nathanael that he was a man with no deceit in his heart. He was an honest, truthful man. God sees our hearts, beyond the surface.
Jesus also reassured Nathanael that the best was yet to come. Nathanael would see even greater things ahead. Nathanael was under the fig tree, when Jesus saw him. The fig tree is often synonymous with the Jews, and often represents abundance. The fig tree is among seven species symbolizing the bounty of Israel.
This is found in Deuteronomy 8: 7-10: “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you today.”
Proverbs 27:18 also says, “Whoever keeps (tends) the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored.”
Just as with Nathanael, Jesus sees us and He has blessings ahead for us, if we will believe, follow, and obey Him. He will be with us, and will not leave us alone and lonely. He is our dearest friend, who knows us intimately and has a wonderful plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).