Nathanael was one of the disciples called by Jesus (John 1:43). Nathanael was from Cana in Galilee (John 21:2) and was brought to Jesus by his friend, Philip, who also became one of Jesus’ disciples. Nathanael was one of the first to express belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 1:49). His name means “God has given” in Hebrew. Interestingly, the name Nathanael is only mentioned in the Gospel of John; the other three gospels identify him as “Bartholomew.”
Christ knew and confirmed the private thoughts and motivation of Nathanael. This revelation was enough to convince Nathanael that Jesus was the Messiah. That’s not everyone’s testimony or burden. As much as we can play mind games and manipulate people, we can not trick God. I’m not a chess master but I understand the game enough to know that it is a game of warfare where aggression, defense and planning is the key to victory. There’s no mercy … no grace in chess. God is the perfect chess algorithm when we test Him with our tactics. God is familiar with all the strategies from ancient to modern times. There’s nothing new under the sun. God understands the Jezebel Spirit (aka Narcissist), the lukewarm-hearted, as well as all unspoken evil. Our thoughts matter. Let us not withhold evidence from the perfect judgment of God. Let us not pray like the Pharisees. God knows our hearts. He already knows what we know and can guide us as we search our hearts. This can be scary as we may journey through the valleys and the shadows of death of our present and past but we will not fear evil because God will be with you. Perhaps that’s what Nathanael was contemplating under the fig tree.