"Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!'” – John 1:47 NASB
Some people responded positively to Jesus, following without question. But Nathanael was different. After hearing Philip’s enthusiastic endorsement, we might expect him just to believe. Instead, Nathanael responded with a question because Jesus was from Nazareth (v. 46).
Jesus was not displeased. But, in fact, He praised him. No doubt, others felt this way about Nazareth, but only Nathanael was willing to speak up.
Jesus praised Nathanael for having no “deceit.” There was nothing deceptive, crafty, or sneaky about him. He didn’t just go along with the crowd but was willing to express his true feelings and ask meaningful questions. He was honest, sincere, and interested in the facts. In this spirit, Jesus had a personal encounter with Nathanael. In it, Nathanael was convinced. His reservations were clarified.
This demonstrates the importance God places on honesty. Some people disguise their true feelings, masking their concerns. But God values people who are honest like Nathanael.
Jesus expressed the same attitude when He told John He would rather that we be cold or hot than lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-16). He would rather have us express our concerns honestly than hide them. Don’t be afraid to ask Him questions rather than just going along with the crowd or harboring secret doubts.
Be bold enough to be honest with God. Reject hypocrisy and deceit. Care enough to investigate. Be sure what you believe; don’t just go along with the crowd.
PrayerFather, help me be honest with You. Here are questions I have: ______. Thank You for Your answers. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingJohn 1