“Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’ ” (John 1:47).
The alligator snapping turtle has been called the dinosaur of the turtle world. It looks prehistoric and is characterized by three large and pronounced ridges that run from the front to the back of its shell. This big snapper is the largest freshwater turtle in the United States and weighs between 155 and 175 pounds when full grown. These solitary creatures usually stay in the water and can remain submerged for 40 to 50 minutes at a time.
The alligator snapping turtle tends to stay motionless while under water. Algae often grow on their backs, making them almost invisible to fish. Besides having powerful jaws, this turtle has a deadly ploy to entice prey—an appendage on its tongue that looks like a worm. When it opens its mouth and wiggles this lure, an unsuspecting fish swims by, sees the possible meal, and comes close to inspect the “worm”—chomp!—the turtle catches supper in a snap.
One of the first disciples to follow Jesus was a man named Nathanael. When Philip invited him to meet Jesus, he was sceptical and said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). But he went
to investigate. As he came to Christ, the Lord said to him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit” (John 1:47). The word for “deceit” in Greek has been interpreted as guile, trickery, or bait.
Nathanael was an honest, genuine follower of God. He was no hypocrite and lived in an open and sincere way. He used no ploys to entice people to listen to him but spoke frankly—as we can see by his comment to Philip about Jesus. It wasn’t intended to be a put-down; he was just being honest.
Let’s live authentic lives for Christ. True believers don’t pretend. Neither do they fall prey to the ploys of the devil.
Dear God, forgive me for the times I have pretended to be what I am not. Live out Your life within me.
For Further Study: John 1:43–51; Matt. 6:1–4; Romans 9:6, 7