The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” -John 1:43-49 NRSV
Seems like I remember something from my early days of faith called "Friendship Evangelism". Not sure what the program was all about but those words seems to describe what is going on in these verses. The excitement appears so tangible and real. Andrew finds Simon and Jesus calls him Peter. Philip finds Nathanael and Jesus stuns him as he calls out the real man inside of him. Peter and Nathanael are experiencing something so new and refreshing.
I love how Nathanael responds - such honesty as he tells Philip about his experiences with people from Nazareth. I think that Jesus saw that in him. Sad that we often mistake this lack of deceit as negativity or cynicism. Would that we would come to love such people and embrace them the way that the Lord did (and does). Perhaps, if we did, we would see more skeptics, like Nathanael, become believers as they simply come and see.
Help me Lord to see past the facade that people communicate. Give me eyes of faith to see, and call out, the inner self.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.