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Humble Hero

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    Nathanael’s Secret Prayers Are Heard

    When Philip called him, Nathanael had gone alone to a quiet grove to meditate on the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He prayed that if the One John had announced was the Deliverer, God would help him to know this. The Holy Spirit gave him assurance that God had come to His people. Philip knew that his friend was searching the prophecies, and while Nathanael was praying under a fig tree, Philip discovered his refuge. They had often prayed together in this secluded spot, hidden by the foliage.HH 57.1

    Philip’s message, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote,” seemed to Nathanael to be a direct answer to his prayer. But Philip added, “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Prejudice arose in Nathanael’s heart, and he exclaimed, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”HH 57.2

    Philip said, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” In surprise, Nathanael exclaimed, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”HH 57.3

    It was enough. The divine Spirit that had brought assurance to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. He said, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”HH 57.4

    If Nathanael had trusted to the rabbis for guidance, he would never have found Jesus. It was by seeing and judging for himself that he became a disciple. So today, many trust to human authority. Like Nathanael, we need to study God’s Word for ourselves and pray for the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment. He who saw Nathanael under the fig tree will see us in the secret place of prayer. Angels are near to those who humbly seek for divine guidance.HH 57.5

    The foundation of the Christian church began with the calling of John, Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathanael. John directed two of his disciples to Christ. Then one of these, Andrew, found his brother. Philip was then called, and he went in search of Nathanael. These examples teach the importance of making direct appeals to our family, friends, and neighbors. There are those who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Savior.HH 57.6

    Many have gone down to ruin who might have been saved if their neighbors, ordinary men and women, had put forth personal effort for them. In the family, the neighborhood, the town where we live, there is work for us to do. As soon as someone is converted, a desire is born within him to tell others what a precious Friend he has found in Jesus.HH 57.7

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