Summary: Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael
The Compliment of being Real - John 1:43-51
Intro. We all like compliments. We want to be accepted. All enjoy someone saying good things about them. But how much more important could it be than for the compliment to ring from the God of all the ages! Matthew 25:21 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
I. A New Disciple - vs. 43-45
A. The Simple Call - Follow me - When we find these words to Peter, it was at after Peter had trusted Christ. But for Philip, it appears to be the same time.
B. The Simple Confession - We have found Him! - Jesus calls Philip to follow Him. Philip does what anyone would do that has just met the Lord, he had to tell someone! Philip, another disciple about whom not much is written. But we do know he found his friend, Nathanael, known in the other Gospels as Bartholomew.
II. A Biblical Discernment - vs. 46
A. An Inquiry -
1. A Fair Question - He would not believe the first one that came along and claimed to be the Messiah! Nazareth was a place that was known as a poor place. No prophet had ever come from there.
2. A Firm Belief
- He knew the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. Even the priests and scribes of his day taught this (Mt. 2)
This is questioned later. Jesus stands on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles and invites any to come that were thirsty and He would give them Living Water! The response is seen: John 7:40-42 40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
B. An Interest - Philip said, "Come and See" and Nathanael did!
He was not prejudiced against Jesus, He was a man of Wisdom and Discernment
III. The Personal Devotions - vs. 48 (drop down there and we will come back to vs. 47)
Here we see the Omniscience of Christ. This is not implying that Jesus saw with the human eye. He knew Philip called Nathanael, and He knew Nathanael was under a particular tree. (God knows where you are, what you are doing, thinking)
I am going to make an educated assumption without doing the Scriptures any harm at all. It is evident that something occurred of which Jesus took note!
I do not believe it was a mere nap. And whatever it was, it was tied to Nathanael's character. Something Jesus noticed got Nathanael's attention.
A. A Distinct Place - "when thou wast under the fig tree"
It was common for someone to retreat to a particular place for prayer.
1. Daniel - Da 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
2. Jesus - Lu 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. Even Judas knew where to find Jesus.
B. A Devoted Performance -
1. Jesus noticed WHERE Nathanael was
2. Jesus noticed WHAT Nathanael was doing
- He may have been reading the Scriptures, meditating on them.
- He may have been praying in his own special place (that is why it would have been significant for Jesus to notice him there) HE is GOD, and HEARD Him!
- He may or may not have been worshiping there,
BUT HE WAS DOING SOMETHING THAT GOD NOTICED!
IV. The Respectful Declaration - vs. 47 (Jesus is not speaking to Nathanael, but to others as He compliments this man.) Jesus knew Nathanael, outward and inward!
A. A Compliment of Authenticity - An Israelite Indeed
1. His Grandfather
- Here a descendant of Jacob, the one full of deceit,
- But Nathanael was living up to the name of Israel - a Prince with God!
Jacob was crooked, but God changed him to Israel.
2. His Genuine Life - indeed - of a truth - a genuine person.
He was not just called an Israelite, but lived up to the name
Are you called a Christian, then do you live up to the name.
Would Jesus note your Authenticity as a Christian? Are we Christians INDEED!