And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. John 1:46
Bartholomew, or Nathanael, as he is called in the book of John, was a man whom Jesus gave an incredible compliment.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! John 1:47
Could God say there is no deceit in you? Bartholomew was honest, but we can learn another lesson from him. When Philip told him who the Messiah was, Bartholomew asked Philip if any good thing could come from Nazareth.
Philip answered with an excellent response. “Come and see.” He told Bartholomew to see for himself. Not yet convinced, Bartholomew chose to investigate.
Christ convinced him that He was Messiah when He told him He saw him by the fig tree. Bartholomew was apparently alone when he was by the tree. He believed Jesus because only God could know where he was at that time. Don’t ever forget God is with you when you are alone.
Bartholomew searched for truth, and he found it. When the truth was unthinkable (the Messiah being from Nazareth), he still checked it out. He didn’t harden his heart and say it was impossible. He took the time to see if God was Who He claimed to be.
Maybe you are reading this devotional, but you are still not convinced Christ is God or salvation is completely free apart from any works. I challenge you to “come and see.” At least consider it a possibility and look for the truth. If you are looking, God will reveal Himself. After all, He is with you when nobody else is.
Bartholomew’s faith grew and grew as he learned more and more from Christ. It never wavered after he saw Jesus risen from the dead. Bartholomew ended up being beaten and crucified for his faith.1 He definitely became convinced, or he wouldn’t have died for his belief. Take the time to see if the Gospel is true. You may be just as convinced as Bartholomew.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.
1John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Chapter 1, XII. Bartholomew