Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
I. A TRUE SON OF ABRAHAM. Nathanael was so called not because he was a descendant of Abraham, but because he resembled the patriarch in his faith and piety. "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed." "They who are of faith are the children of Abraham." Faith, then, is the characteristic of the true Israelite. Nathanael was ready to believe. Faith is the primary virtue of the Christian life.
II. IN COVENANT WITH GOD. The Jews were ever ready to boast of this, but the Baptist and our Lord corrected them. Whoever cordially and unreservedly takes God for his God, Christ for his Redeemer, the Holy Spirit for his Sanctifier, is in covenant with God.
III. A WORSHIPPER OF THE TRUE GOD. All other nations worshipped idols. Every true Israelite is a temple of God. From the altar of his heart he offers the incense of sincerity and affection. To God he gives the best of his services. The worship of God is not formal and burdensome, but delightful. He shows his sincerity also by his secret worship.
IV. LIKE THE PATRIARCH FROM WHOM HE TAKES HIS NAME; a wrestler with God.
V. HAS THE PROMISE OF AN INHERITANCE, only not an earthly, but a heavenly. Conclusion:
1. The conduct of Philip must be highly approved, and should be imitated.
2. Although good men are subject to be prejudiced, when they have the opportunity of being better instructed the prejudices give way to cordial attachment.
3. Our Lord is the witness of every action of our lives, and especially of every exercise of devotion.
4. Sincerity in religion is essential.
(J. A. Alexander, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!