New American Standard Bible
Nathanael 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."
King James Bible
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.
Darby Bible Translation
Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.
World English Bible
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Young's Literal Translation
Nathanael saith to him, 'Whence me dost thou know?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Before Philip's calling thee -- thou being under the fig-tree -- I saw thee.'
John 1:48 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Whence knowest thou me? - Nathanael was not yet acquainted with the divinity of Christ, and supposed that he had been a stranger to him. Hearing him express a favorable opinion of him, he naturally inquired by what means he had any knowledge of him. His conscience testified to the truth of what Jesus said that he had no guile, and he was anxious to know whence he had learned his character.
Before that Philip called thee - See John 1:45.
When thou wast under the fig-tree - It is evident that it was from something that had occurred under the fig-tree that Jesus judged of his character. What that was is not recorded. It is not improbable that Nathanael was accustomed to retire to the shade of a certain tree, perhaps in his garden or in a grove, for the purpose of meditation and prayer. The Jews were much in the habit of selecting such places for private devotion, and in such scenes of stillness and retirement there is something especially favorable for meditation and prayer. Our Saviour also worshipped in such places. Compare John 18:2; Luke 6:12. In that place of retirement it is not improbable that Nathanael was engaged in private devotion.
I saw thee - It is clear, from the narrative, that Jesus did not mean to say that he was bodily present with Nathanael and saw him; but he knew his thoughts, his desires, his secret feelings and wishes. In this sense Nathanael understood him. We may learn:
1. that Jesus sees what is done in secret, and is therefore divine.
2. that he sees us when we little think of it.
3. that he sees us especially in our private devotions, hears our prayers, and marks our meditations. And,
4. that he judges of our character chiefly by our private devotions. Those are secret; the world sees them not; and in our closets we show what we are. How does it become us, therefore, that our secret prayers and meditations should be without "guile" and hypocrisy, and such as Jesus will approve!
LibraryJanuary 20 Morning
His name shall be called Wonderful.--ISA. 9:6. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.--Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.--JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.--God . . . hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
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Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"
Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."
these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
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