-An Original Apostle-
It is the nature of a believer in God to share their experience with others, so when Philip was invited by Jesus to join the company of his followers, Philip at once went and told his friend, Nathanael (Bartholomew) that he had found The Messiah.
Nathanael was very hesitant and his prejudice showed the moment Philip told him that Jesus was from Nazareth. Nazareth was in Galilee and had in the past been known to produce extremists, revolutionists and many who labeled themselves The Messiah. It was to the Jewish people, a destitute area, also at Nazareth was the Roman Soldier barracks. Nazareth, a despised place, being the quarters for the Roman troops was filled with foreign idols and heathen gods that the soldiers had brought with them into this area which was the gateway of travel and business between Egypt and Rome. It seemed a most unlikely place for Israel's True Messiah to live.
Philip urged Nathanael to meet Jesus and see for himself so Nathanael ventured out to the main road to encounter Jesus himself. Philip introduced Nathanael to Jesus who immediately unveiled His greatness to him. Jesus remarked of Nathanael that indeed he was a true Israelite, meaning he is honest in saying what he thinks, and although awaiting The Messiah not trustworthy of believing.
A true believer however has an inward dealing of the heart.
Jesus with divine understanding, knew the skepticism and doubts of Nathanael, so He told him what he was doing before Philip came to him, what he was reading and what he was thinking.
Nathanael had been studying under the shade of a fig tree the scriptures of Genesis about Jacob's ladder.
This is what Jesus had told him he was doing before Philip had even gone to say to came and meet the "One written about by Moses".
Nathanael was deeply moved by the facts Jesus had revealed and what he knew about his character. Such knowledge is not human intuition. Nathanael responded to Jesus, at the beginning of His ministry, recognizing The Truth, saying, "You are the Son of God, The King of Israel".
Nathaniel's confession was true but Jesus explained that He is the real ladder by which mankind receives his redemption, the ladder by which the gulf of heaven and earth are linked; The one way for mankind to have access and reconciliation to God, The Father. Nathanael followed Jesus and became one of the original twelve disciples that Jesus had chosen to be close to him and to lead his disciples in the future.
The original twelve disciples who automatically became apostles (one sent by Jesus to teach ) but others shared the same level of love and commitment. Christianity is not limited to any race or groups of people. Just as the other apostles came to realize that it was God's sovereign choice to embrace Gentiles, Nathanael had to admit that is was God's will to include gentiles.
All who would call on the Name of The lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, become members of His Kingdom, included with the Jewish race. This was evident through the support by scripture and the witness of The Holy Spirit.
Within several weeks after the Resurrection of Jesus, the believers were added to the first church by the thousand in numbers. These believer's met regularly together and along with the original apostles, Nathanael did many miracles, as did the disciples of Christ.
Christians should be careful of jumping to conclusion and judging others quickly, for humans do not have insight to the heart of others, but Christ can and does as Nathanael previously found out, when he spoke without thinking when Philip first told him about Jesus of Nazareth. A true Israelite is not the circumcision of the flesh but the circumcision of the heart.
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