Beside Still Waters: ‘In this one, there is no guile’

Therese Apel

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” – John 2:44-47

I love this passage so much.

Jesus, who is often the only one who sees our deceit, saw none in Nathaniel, and he called him out for it in front of his friends. How much more would you trust and rely on someone if Jesus Himself told you, “This man has no deceit”?

Other translations say, “Here is an Israelite with no guile,” and I like that even better because the word “deceit” sound like absolute lies, but “guile” sounds like not only lies, but fronts, agendas, mind games, two-facedness — some of those things we justify in certain situations.

Look at your heart. What would Jesus say about you? And I’m talking especially to you people who say, “I’m not mean, I’m just brutally honest.” When you’re “brutally” honest, what is your actual intent? Is it pride? What’s the root of what you’re saying that comes off mean? It doesn’t have to be meanness to be wrong if it’s pride or the intent is to make yourself look better and the other person look smaller. And what should bother you while you bluff it away with “I’m not mean, just honest” is that Jesus sees your heart. He sees that as deceit.

When you word something a particular way so you can’t *technically* be caught in a lie, that’s still a lie because it’s deceitful. Even if the person who confronts you can’t prove anything because of your slimy semantics, it’s still deceit, and Jesus sees it.

Wouldn’t you rather be like Nathaniel? To have Jesus look at you and say, “In this one, there is no guile?”

How do you do that? You take every thought captive and you make the sometimes really hard choice to do what’s right. It can be uncomfortable to look at your own motives and deny yourself in the name of Jesus, but in the end, that purity of heart leaves a legacy that lasts.

Liars are everywhere. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a liar or a deceiver these days. But honest people? Truly guileless, honest people of integrity are few and far between.

What do you want Jesus to say of you when He looks at you? The choice is yours. ❤️

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