The Heart of the Matter

“When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said, ‘Now here is a true son of Israel—a man with a heart of genuine integrity’” (John 1:47, paraphrase).

Your heart is known.

When that revelation hits you, it can be disturbing, even frightening at first, because you have to really look at yourself—all that’s happened to you, and all you’ve thought, said, and done to deal with it.

You realize how much the weights of loss, pain, disappointment, failure, resentment, and fear have suppressed your heart. You see how much of your exhaustion, frustration, and difficulty with relationships haven’t come from who you are, but who you haven’t been.

But then Jesus speaks to your heart—not to condemn it, but to encourage it. As his love becomes real for you again, it becomes clear: if he knows your heart, you don’t have to carry those burdens in it anymore.

Your heart is known. And you are wanted. He loves you because he loves you—the real you. You never have to hide who you are, because every day you’re becoming all he sees in you. You are a masterpiece in progress.

“Nathanael was stunned, and said, ‘But you’ve never met me—how can you know anything about me?’

Jesus answered, ‘Before Philip found you, I saw you in my heart, sitting under the shade of a fig tree.’

Nathanael blurted out, ‘Teacher, you are truly the Son of God. You are the King of Israel!’

Jesus answered, “Have you become a believer simply because I saw you supernaturally? How wonderful! I promise you’ll experience far greater things than this!’” (John 1:48-50, paraphrase).

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