Nathanael was one of Christ’s twelve disciples. If we were to write his biography, it might be a short volume, for not much is said about him. What we do know, however, is that he was a moral, upstanding man. He was a man of good character. But Nathanael's good character was not enough. He needed more than good character. The story of Nathanael is a fascinating story. As we study his life, it is not difficult to deduce that he was a man of character. Without question, he was a student of the Old Testament Scriptures. When Jesus spoke of Nathanael as sitting “under the fig tree” (v. 48), there was a special significance about this descriptive phrase. “The fig tree,” in those days, was a sort of booth where devout Jews retired for meditation, prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures. He was, therefore, a man of convictions. He was not a simpleton, not an agnostic, but a devout man. Many believe that he was a disciple of John the Baptist. He was also a man of morality and integrity. Jesus could speak of him as a man “...in whom is no guile” (v. 47). In other words, he was a man of sincerity and straightforwardness. But with all this there was still something missing in Nathanael’s life. There was an inward dissatisfaction which made him long for the appearance of the Messiah. And that confrontation with Jesus Christ came sooner than he expected; and in our story we see how Jesus Christ transformed a moralist into a loyalist.
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