“As they approached, Jesus said, ‘Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.’ ‘How do you know about me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, ‘I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.’ Then Nathanael exclaimed, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!’ Jesus asked him, ‘Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.’ Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.’ ” (John 1:47-51, NLT).
Almost all the words spoken by Jesus and recorded in the Gospels quote Old Testament Scriptures or make an allusion to an Old Testament story or event. That is the case here with the calling of Nathanael as one of Jesus’ disciples.
“When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables. He answered them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables” (Mark 4:10-11. HCSB).
Jesus made this statement to the twelve apostles after telling the all-familiar parable of the sower.
Now, a secret is usually some knowledge or information that one keeps hidden from others. But sometimes a secret is knowledge or information that is unknown to others but should be revealed.
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” The Greek word for “home” (monē meaning dwelling place) used in this verse is the same word used for for “many rooms” in vs. 2 of this chapter: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” In vs. 2 Jesus gives the assurance that each of His followers has an eternal dwelling place with Him and He is going there to prepare it. In vs. 23 Jesus and the Father come to dwell (by the Holy Spirit) with those who love Him and keep His word so that His followers can prepare for their eternal dwelling place: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (vs. 15-16). Jesus gives us an assurance for this life that there is an assurance of eternal life with Him. The Holy Spirit (and Father and Son) dwell with us to help prepare us for our eternal life with Them. In other words, you will dwell with God then because He dwells with you now so that you will be prepared to live eternally in the place Jesus has prepared for you!