In these verses in the gospel of John we view an amazing account between Jesus and someone he described as “and Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile”. Let’s take a look at this a little deeper.
Who was Nathanael?
First, his name means (gift of God )
He was a disciple of Jesus Christ, concerning whom, under that name at least, we learn from Scripture little more than his birthplace, Cana of Galilee, and his simple, truthful character.
The name does not occur in the first three Gospels; but it is commonly believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person. The evidence for that belief is as follows: St, John who twice mentions Nathanael, never introduces the name of Bartholomew at all. Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18 and Luke 8:14 all speak of Bartholomew but never of Nathanael. It was Philip who first brought Nathanael to Jesus, just as Andrew had brought his brother Simon.
Now, when Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”, this was an incredible statement.
The word guile means cunning and deceitfulness: a cunning, deceitful, or treacherous quality.
This was an amazing compliment coming from the mouth of the Savior.
I think there was a good reason, because it is so rare to find such a one.
No guile, this means the absence of this: no scheming, no plotting, no ulterior motives, no selfish ambition, no agenda.
Virtually unheard of in Jesus’ day, even more so today.
As I examine my own heart, I pray for the Holy Spirit’s help, to develop such quality.