Summary: The men that Jesus gathered to Him were common men. They had to be trained by Him and it would take time for them to become strong and faithful. In the beginning they were often afraid and unsure of themselves.
Harmony of the Gospels
Calls First Disciples
The men that Jesus gathered to Him were common men. They had to be trained by Him and it would take time for them to become strong and faithful. In the beginning they were often afraid and unsure of themselves. They would require His constant attention and it would take the events of His Baptism, His transfiguration, the cross and his death, His resurrection, His ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost for them to become that group of men who would begin to build His church.
John the Baptist pointed Jesus out to his disciples. They would bring others to Jesus and later, after John’s death, some of them would begin to follow Him.
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God. (John 1:35-36)
John baptized Jesus and at that time the Holy Spirit identified Him. Now when he sees Jesus walking by, he points Him out to his disciples and calls Him the “Lamb of God.”
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saith unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say being interpreted, Master.) where dwelleth thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the twelth hour. (John 1:37-39)
Jesus impressed John’s disciples and they followed Him. I imagine that they were surprised when Jesus turned around and spoke to them. All they could think to say was, “’Master, where dwellest thou?” Jesus told them to, “Come and see.” Psalms 34:8 says, “Come and see. Taste of the Lord and see whether or not He is good.” Today, many can declare that He is good and that He saves to the uttermost.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone. (John 1:40-42)
This man Simon was as weak as water. When Jesus told him that he would be a stone man, some may have laughed, maybe even Simon. But he would become a rock man, who would, on the Day of Pentecost, give the first great sermon of the New Testament, and sweep 3000 people into the church. (Acts 2:40-41).
The day following, Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. (John 1:43-44)
Peter, Andrew and Philip were fisherman. They knew each other and applied their trade in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ invitation to them was a simple one, “Follow me.”
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (John 1:45-46)
Nathanael was a wise guy and he made a wise crack, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth.” He may have laughed at his own joke, but I don’t think that Philip laughed. He just said, “Come and see.” That is the important thing. We need to come to Him and see Him for who He is; the Son of God and our Savior.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. (John 1:47)
Although he is a wise cracker, Jesus says that he is not deceitful.
Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knoweth thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:48-49)
The Lord had two doubters among His disciples. In the beginning it was Nathanael; at the end it was Thomas. Even though Nathanael began by doubting, he would end the interview by declaring that Jesus is the Son of God. Now he knows that someone very important did come out of Nazareth.
Jesus answered and said unto him, because I said unto thee, I saw thee under a fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. (John 1:50)
Jesus gave Nathanael a rebuke saying, “Do you believe just because I told you something about yourself?” Jesus promised him that he would see much greater things in the future. In the next three years, Nathanael would see many things that were greater than this.