Lessons for life from the Bible – Day 8
The true Israelite
Someone once said that we really are three persons. The person other people think we are, the person we think we are and the person we really are. That is not how Jesus saw Nathanael. Nathanael, an orthodox Jew from Canaan, in Galilee, heard of Jesus from Philip who told him that Jesus was the one of whom Moses and the prophets had written.
Nathanael is sceptical and makes the same mistake that many people of prejudice still do today. Without knowing Jesus, Nathanael judged him by where he grew up. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46) Philip tells him to come and see.
Nathanael, who had studied the law and the writings concerning the Messiah, did just that and Jesus greeted him with our verse for today. Nathanael asked Jesus how he knew who he was. Jesus replied that even before Philip had called him, he had seen him under the fig tree. (John 1:48) Nathanael is overwhelmed and surrenders his heart to Jesus. “Rabbi”, he says, “you are the Son of God: you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
Jesus promises Nathanael that even greater things are in store for him because of his belief and indeed these were fulfilled.
When Jesus looks at us, who we are and where we live is of no importance to him. How genuine we are is all that matters. Jesus looked into Nathanael’s heart and saw there were no pretensions.
Jesus calls us to drop our pretensions and come to him with an open heart. There are great things in store for those who do.