The Ministry of Jesus Christ – Nathanael

the statue 'Saint Bartholomew Flayed', by Marco d'Agrate, 1562; Milan Cathedral, Milan, Italy; photographed on 8 July 2014 by hjl; swiped from his flickr account and croppedArticle

Philip brings Nathanael to Jesus, Who greets him as “an Israelite, indeed, in whom there is no guile.” Our Lord tells him that He saw him when Philip found him under the fig-tree; and Nathanael recognizes in Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Israel.

Philip is not satisfied with one convert. He seeks another man of good-will, to whom he communicates the joyful tidings that he has found the Messias. Philip was a worthy disciple of his Master. He could not refrain from speaking of Him, and inviting others to enroll themselves under His banner. It is a great mark of love to Jesus, if we are zealous in proclaiming His love to others.

Nathanael is incredulous at first; he will not believe that a great Prophet can come from a place of such indifferent repute as Nazareth, but at Philip’s suggestion he consents to come and see. Hence learn:

1) Not to be too credulous, but to test and try any reported wonders.

2) Not to be prejudiced against others by reason of their origin.

3) To be willing to inquire into the claims of any who may possibly have a Divine mission to act with Divine authority.

Nathanael does not remain long incredulous in the presence of the Son of God. All men of good-will when brought face to face with Truth and with the Catholic Church are irresistibly drawn to it, and need but little evidence to convince them of its Divine character. This recognition of the supernatural is a gift that men possess in proportion to their obedience to the voice of conscience.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ. “Nathanael”. The Ministry of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations on the Public Life of Our Lord, 1892. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2019. Web. 26 July 2021. <>