Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.John 1:47-51
Jesus declares that Nathanael has no guile in his character. This means that he always states what he believes and there is no craftiness or a deceitful nature about his speech or the way he does business.
We see two examples of this “straight shooting” way of speaking his mind in John chapter 2. Nathanael believes the old proverb that “nothing good can come out of Nazareth,” so he voices his doubt about the Messiah when Philip tells him where Jesus is from. And here, we see Nathanael once again telling it like he sees it. His response is basically, “how can you know anything about me? You have never met me.”
Jesus declares, “I saw you when you spoke your mind to Philip under the fig tree, and I see you doubting now.”
Those statements probably hung in the air convicting Nathanael.
But the purpose of this account was not just to show the conviction and conversion of Nathanael. It is to show us that the gospel of Who Jesus truly is does not need fancy words or man’s devices to be presented properly. A man who always “tells it like it is” now tells us, “Jesus is the Son of God!”
Nathanael answers his own doubting proverb. Yes! The King of Glory came from Nazareth!