< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: John 1:43-51

Thursday, March 02, 2017

John 1:43-51

John 1:43-46 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.

It’s likely Philip was also a disciple of John the Baptists. And since he came from the same town as Andrew and Peter probably knew them and may have even discussed Jesus.

And like Andrew he couldn’t keep the good news to himself. He went and found his friend Nathanael. Both Philip and Nathanael were Godly men who clung to God’s promises about the Messiah. That’s how Philip told about Jesus, that He was the One Moses wrote about and also the prophets. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is one story! There is no full knowledge of Jesus Christ without adequate knowledge of the Old Testament.

The other important thing in these verses is – Nathanael had a question – and he went to Jesus Himself with it.

John 1:47-51 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

So Nathanael had questions and doubts, but he was open minded. And Jesus praised him for being an Israelite without deceit.

Jesus told him He had already seen him under the fig tree. It was a Jewish custom to sit and meditate under a fig tree’s leafy, shady branches, where a man could be entirely hidden. And Nathanael believed that He came from God. But Jesus basically said, “Me saying I saw you hidden in a tree is nothing – you haven’t seen anything yet! When Jacob saw the angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven – I am that ladder! I am the way – and the only way – to God!”

Nathanael would live to see the whole power and love of God become available to men.

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

There is nothing more important than to believe the truth about Jesus Christ, embrace the truth and live for Him, and than share the good news with others!

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