Following Jesus 33
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.
Finally, true followers of Jesus are so by saving faith. 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!” (John 1:48-49 ESV).
Nathanael wanted to know how Jesus knew him. Jesus in turn told him. He told him that he saw him under the fig tree when Philip called to him. This expression “under the fig tree” often meant to have safety and leisure (cf. 1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zech. 3:10). Even though Jesus was not physically present at that precise moment, He knew what had occurred. This was enough evidence to Nathanael of Jesus’ omniscience. He confessed Jesus as Lord and God. Psalm 139 elaborates on the theme of God’s knowledge of a person’s life in every detail. Even yours.
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