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John 1: 45 - 49
Jesus Christ called Philip to follow Him as an apostle. Immediately
Philip went looking for his friend Nathanael from Bethsaida.
Nathanael who was also known as Bartholomew was rude, crude,
and uncivil. Such was not uncommon for people from this rural
area. They were a rather primitive society.
Nathanael Bartholomew is believed to be the name of one person.
Bartholomew is not a first name. It is a family name that identifies a
person by his father. "Bar" means "son of." It is used like "Van" is
used by the Dutch, "Von" by Germans, "Mc" or "Mac" by Irish or
Scholars agree Bartholomew means "son of Talmai." II Samuel 3:3
mentions a Talmai who was King of Geshure. This being correct
means Nathanael Bartholomew was the only apostle of noble birth.
When Philip told Nathanael he had found the one prophesied of by
Moses, Nathanael blurted out his prejudice. He questioned, "Can
anything good come out of Nazareth?" That was a more legitimate
question than we might suppose.
The historian Josephus listed over 750 cities, towns, and villages in
Galilee. Nazareth was so small and insignificant it wasn't even
listed. As a village, Nazareth was not only remote, but it was of little
or ill repute, and Nathanael was not interested in such a place or
anyone living, or coming from there. Recent excavations of the
town reveal that in the time of Christ the residents were cave-
dwellers. Christ was born in a cave, grew up in a cave, spent many
nights in caves, and was buried in a cave.
Jesus responded to Nathanael's barb by referring to Nathanael as
a person "in whom there is no guile," that is, no deceit or insidious
cunning. He was the personification of sincerity and honesty.
Nathanael was clear as day and never lowered himself to deceitful
contrivances. He was man anyone could trust and therefore earned
the warm greeting by Jesus.
That prompte ...
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