The other day I spent some time with my friend’s husband. He is the sort of person that makes you feel at ease when you see him. There were some questions when these two wanted to get married. One of the issues was that it was a cross cultural marriage, where a missionary married a local. In many missionary organizations this isn’t encourage. Another issue was this man’s past. He had made some mistakes and already had children. However, when I met this man, I felt he was a real genuine person and there was no apparent guile in him.
In John 1 there is a story about Jesus meeting Nathaniel. Nathaniel is brought to Jesus by Philip. When Jesus meets Nathaniel he describes him as an Israelite who is without guile. Within the story Nathaniel functions as the model of an ideal Israelite. He is someone who is without hidden agendas. He has a solid spiritual life and was probably studying the Torah under the tree.
Nathaniel is a bit taken aback. How do you know me? He asks. Jesus shows that he knows more about Nathaniel’s spiritual life than anybody else.
How do people view me? Am I seen as a person without guile? Or am I seen
How do I judge others? At this stage, Nathaniel knew very little about Jesus, however Jesus had a lot of good to say about Nathaniel. Jesus accepted him – even though he didn’t have a complete knowledge of Jesus – do I accept others whose knowledge is less than perfect? How do I treat those whose knowledge is different from mine?