John Lesson 2 Day 5 Day 6

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John Lesson 2 Day 5 Day 6

Study of John 1:43-51

From the other gospel accounts we know that Jesus met many of the men from Galilee before this. Jesus was purposeful in seeking out the ones destined to be part of His twelve. Jesus decided to go to Galilee to find Philip and Nathanael.

11. Jesus found Philip and said, “Follow me.”

The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43 ESV

“The verb ‘Follow’ will be used here in its full sense of ‘follow as a disciple’. The present tense has continuous force, ‘keep on following’.” (Morris)

Philip, Peter, and Andrew were from Bethsaida in Galilee which means “house of the fisherman” or “Fishertown.” He was also one of John the Baptist’s disciples.

Next, John writes “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’” John 1:45 ESV

Philip immediately began to do what Jesus did; spread the good news and call someone else to follow Jesus.

John writes that Philip simply encouraged Nathanael to “come and see” for himself when he didn’t believe the Messiah could come from Nazareth.

12. a. Nathanael is skeptical at first.

Nathanael’s initial response sounds like he is prejudiced against the people of Nazareth. Nathanael likely knew the prophecy that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem.

He is devout and knowledgeable about scripture in general and specifically concerning the Messiah.

“It is possible Nathanael liked to pray and meditate upon God and His Word under the shade of an actual fig tree. Yet, under the fig tree was a phrase Rabbis used to describe meditation on the Scriptures. We can suppose that Nathanael spent time in prayer and in meditating on the Scriptures, and Jesus told him “I saw you” there.”

b. Nathanael quickly believed

Jesus gave Nathanael a wonderful complement, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel [Psalma man of complete integrity” or “in whom is no deceit!” I love that Jesus knew all about Nathanael yet He only encouraged and honored him. He didn’t repeat what Nathanael said about Nazareth.

Deceit: “This last word is used in early Greek writers as a ‘bait’ (for catching fish). Hence it comes to signify ‘any cunning contrivance for deceiving or catching…It thus has the notion of ‘deceit’ or ‘craft’. It is used in the Bible of Jacob before his change of heart (Genesis 27:35, which is the point of Temple’s translation, ‘an Israelite in whom there is no Jacob!’” (Morris)”

Jesus commends Nathanael for believing so quickly on so little evidence. Jesus also marveled at the Samaritan woman for believing based on the same type of evidence. They both believed He was the Son of God and not a prophet nor psychic.

Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do You know [these things about] me?”

Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you.”John 1:48 (AMPC)

Nathanael answered, “Rabbi (Teacher), You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” John 1:49 (AMPC) Jesus answered . . . “You will see greater things than this.” John 1:50

“Nathanael is today generally understood to be the same person as Bartholomew, one of the Twelve; Nathanael being the personal name, Bartholomew (son of Tolmai) the patronymie.” (Bible Commentator Richard Chenevix Trench,)

We’ve all been taught things we later realize aren’t true. In the past, I assumed all Bible teachers and ministers were correct. I thought it was their job to study and teach us, and it was my job to play the worship music.  I read the Bible almost every day, but I didn’t know how to study it. I thought I needed a teacher. Now I am learning how to study using the many available resources, seek Jesus face to face, and trust the Holy Spirit to instruct me and lead me to the truth.

We should all be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11)—open-minded, receptive and examine the scriptures daily to see for ourselves if what we hear is true.

c. John 1:51 and John 14:6

Nathanael was amazed that Jesus knew all about him and believed Jesus was the Son of God and King of Israel. Jesus said, “You will see greater things than this. Then He said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man [the bridge between heaven and earth].” John 1:50-51 (AMPC)

This sounds like Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:10-17 — “. . .behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! . . . the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.”

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus identifies Himself as the Son of Man which is used elsewhere to mean the Son of God. Jesus is the gateway between heaven and earth and our way to God. In fact, Jesus is the Lord.

“by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,” Hebrews 10:20 (ESV)

The word “you” used twice in John 1:51 is plural in the Greek. This is not just for Nathanael.

. . . Jesus’ use of “verily, verily” (in King James version) implies this was going to literally come true. There is no reason to think that Nathanael didn’t literally see this come to pass. Three of Jesus’ disciples saw Jesus transfigured (Matthew 17:1-9). If they saw those spiritual things, Nathanael certainly could have seen these spiritual things. Andrew Wommack

13. Outreach

Our church fellowship has a ministry called Jesus Teams. We go out to various places in the community—festivals, college campus, shopping mall, areas where the homeless hang out, etc. to offer prayer, warm blankets on cold nights, and many other creative outreach activities. It is amazing.

I’ve been recommending The Chosen series to some friends online.

Day 6 Review John 1:19-51

14. What I learned

  • John the Baptist’s faithfulness to fulfill his calling with such humility. He points everyone to Jesus—even his own disciples.
  • John, the gospel author’s humility. He avoids drawing attention to himself.
  • The beautiful picture of Jesus inviting John’s disciples to spend the day with Him.
  • Jesus’ patience with Nathanael. He even demonstrates His all-knowing ability by describing Nathanael under the fig tree.
  • If I accept His invitation to “come and see,” He is faithful to reveal Himself to me.

My Prayer

Father, show me where else I lack faithfulness and humility. May I spend all day, every day with You. Cast Your Shalom over me. May I find rest in You so You can find resting place in me. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:5 AMP

My answers to BSF Bible study questions John Lesson 2 Day 5 Day 6