47. Insight that hooks

Short Meditations in John 1:  47. Insight that hooks

Jn 1:47    When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

Over the years, particularly through the prophetic, I have seen Jesus speak specific words to people – and they know the word is for them. He manages to say things that hook them. It may be a word of knowledge about them and they recognise its truth, it may be a word of hope that stirs something within them, it may be a challenge that similarly lifts something within them. In each case he says something that evokes a response within them, a response that acknowledges that they have heard something more than mere pleasantries.

When Jesus ‘sees’ us, he knows us, because he is God and he has that insight, he has that sort of knowledge and so, as Philip brings Nathaniel, Jesus looks at him as he approaches and he does that same thing that I have seen so many times over the years – he hooks him with words. For Nathaniel these are words of affirmation. They say, here is a real member of God’s family, a man of God in whom there is nothing false. The problem that God had had with so many from the nation of Israel was that they had acknowledged God with their lips but their hearts had been far from Him (Isa 29:13). They appeared one thing but were in reality something else. They appeared to be the people of God but their lives were far from that description.  They were, in fact, false and they were not real members of God’s holy family.

That had been the situation with Israel and we’ve commented before that when Jesus came to Israel they were at a low spiritual ebb, but when he comes to Nathaniel, he finds something different, a man whose heart is turned to God and a man who is true and honest in every way.

Nathaniel and Jesus’ words about him thus come as a challenge to us. Are we really Christians or are we simply Christians by self-proclamation? Are we those who put on a show, or a performance, who appear nice and convey all the social niceties required of a church goer, and do we apply the Bible to bits of our lives while retaining sovereign control over the rest of them,  or are we truly a child of God, born of His Spirit, seeking His heart and His will in every aspect of our lives?  Is Jesus truly both our Saviour and our Lord? If not, we are pretending, we are playing at faith and we are in Jesus’ words, ‘false’! That is the challenge of this verse.


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