Following Jesus 32

As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now begin to view the second group of four. Following Philip is Nathanael. Are you like Nathanael? The primary text in Scripture which specifically speaks about Nathanael is John 1:43-51.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 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.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:43-51 ESV).

How are Jesus disciples today like Nathanael? What Observations about Nathanial, and followers of Jesus today, can be gathered from John 1:43-51?

Like Nathanael, a true follower of Jesus knows Scripture.

Secondly, a true disciple of Jesus may be prejudiced.

Thirdly, Jesus knows His true followers and they in turn know Jesus. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:47 ESV).

Jesus saw Nathanael. Philip was bringing Nathanael to Jesus. Philip had said to Nathanael, “Come and see.” Philip personally used strong words. He commanded Nathanael to personally come and experience for himself whether Jesus was or was not the Messiah. Philip was wise enough not to argue. He invited his friend to meet Jesus with the phrase “Come and see.” He knew that Jesus would answer Nathanael’s questions.

Jesus’ statement confirms that Nathanael was a Jew. Jesus identifies him as such. Jesus also identified Nathanael as an honest man. He does so before the disciples. He said that Nathanael was not hypocritical. There was no pretense with Nathanael or hypocrisy. Even in his derogatory statement about Nazareth. Nathanael was a man without guile or treachery (Isaiah 53:9).

What impact did Jesus’ statement have upon Nathanael? Upon you?

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