Summary: Let's see what Jesus' interaction with Nathaniel (in whom is no guile/deception) teaches us about being authentic in our faith and in our world.
INTRO: 1. ILL. A young boy at the beach in his swimming trunks walks up to a lady sitting in the shade of an umbrella and asked her. “Do you believe in God?” Kind of taken by surprise she responded “Yes” “Are you a christian?” She responded “Why, Yes.” “Do you go to church every Sunday?” “Yes I do.” “Do you read your bible and pray every day?” She confidently responded “Yes, I do.” With that the little boy smiled smugly and held out a shiny quarter and asked “Will you watch my quarter while I play?”
a. Like this little boy, the world will never trust us with their souls until they are convinced that we are genuine Christians?
2. There are five things that the world doesn’t need any more of.
a. Christians who pretend to be something their not.
b. Christians who live to please each other.
c. Christians who are plastic, pretentious and insincere.
d. Christians who live carelessly. (flippant about their faith)
e. Christians who cut themselves off from the ‘real’ world.
3. But I’ve got good news for you today. We can be the real deal… our faith can be genuine without us being pious, pretentious and condescending.
4. Jesus was impressed with this man Nathaniel because he found a man who was ‘real.’
Vs. 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
a. “Behold an Israelite indeed” in other words what the Pharisees could only profess to be, Nathaniel was demonstrating as a reality in his life.
b. “In whom is no guile” guile is translated as deceit, fakery, subtlety, or facade.
c. Nathaniel was true, lived righteously with nothing to hide.
d. Jesus himself testified to the genuineness of this man’s character.
e. I want Jesus to stamp my life as ‘genuine.’
5. Nathaniel’s response was predictable… “When knowest thou me?” or How do you know me, from where do you know me?
a. Jesus let him know that when nobody saw him, he was seeing him.
b. His testimony about Nathaniel bears witness to the fact that Jesus not only saw him, but saw in him.
c. Jesus sees beyond what others see.
d. Jesus see us as we really are.
c. Jesus sees beyond the masks that we present to others.
6. There are two dangers in living behind masks.
a. You might start believing them.
b. Others might start believing them.
7. But notice if you will the instant promise made to this ‘real’ disciple called Nathaniel.
Vs. 50, 51 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.
a. It appears that being ‘real’ removes the hindrances in our life to see great things happen in our lives.