About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Calls Philip And Nathaneal (ch 1:43-51)
verse 43 we see that the next day Jesus decided to cross from the east
side of the Jordan River and return to the west side, which was Galilee.
Isaiah 9:1 predicted the day when a great light would shine in
verse 44 we learn that Philip was from
verse 45 Philip found his brother Nathanael and brought him to Jesus.
In the other gospel accounts Nathanael is called Bartholomew.
means "the house of fish."
was clearly a fishing city.
Philip told Nathanael that he had found the one that Moses and the prophets wrote about. He was Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph. As I stated earlier in my commentary Deuteronomy 18:15 states that there would be a prophet like Moses who would rise within Israel. This is what Philip would have meant when he said that he had found the one Moses spoke about.
verse 46 we note Nathanaelís first
Another reason why Nathaniel might
questions Jesus being the Messiah is
that the Old Testament predicts that the Messiah would be from the city
of David, Bethlehem. Well, we all know that
Jesus was born in
verse 47 Jesus has some good things to say about Nathanael.
He says, "Here is a true Israelite, whom there is nothing
impressive words to hear from the lips of Jesus, Iíd say.
This tells me that Nathanael was an honest and straight forward
person. He had no hidden agenda. Such
a quality was a good start to be a disciple of Jesus.
verse 48 Nathanael asks Jesus how He knew of him.
Jesus replies by saying that He saw Nathanael while he was still
under the fig tree. When
Philip found his brother, he must have been sitting under a fig tree. Once
again, we see a word of knowledge come from the lips of Jesus.
This was supernatural knowledge about Nathanael that could not
have been known naturally.
people have speculated over what
verse 49 we note that Nathanael was quite impressed and replied,
"You are the Son of God, the King of Israel."
Obviously the words spoken by Nathanael were true, but as we see
the disciples at work over the next few years we note that even though
they may verbally acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, they
still have a hard time understanding what that all means.
hard to say if Nathaniel really understood what he was proclaiming.
Many Bible teachers believe that Israelis, especially in the days
of John 1, did not associate their Christ, the Messiah, with being the
Son of God. Whatever the
case, his confession was accurate.
verse 50 Jesus told Nathanael that he believed because he saw a miracle
from Jesus, that is the word of knowledge, but this was nothing compared
to what Nathanael would see. In
verse 51 Jesus told him that he would see heaven open and angels
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
that Nathaniel called Jesus the Son of God but Jesus called Himself the
Son of Man. The term Son of
Man comes from Daniel 7:13 where the text states that one like the Son
of Man would come on the clouds and approach the Most High.
The point in Daniel is that the Son of Man is a designation of
divinity. The one spoken of
here is both bully God and fully man.
That is exactly who Jesus was.
What does the reference to the angels mean? It is my thinking that angels helped Jesus in the circumstances in which He found Himself. Whether Nathanael and the others actually saw angels coming down upon Jesus or not is hard to say, but they certainly saw the effects of these angels and how they ministered to Jesus.
If you remember in Genesis 28:10 Jacob saw angels ascending and descending from heaven in a dream. I'm not sure of the connection, but it is my guess that there is some connection between Jacob's dream and Jesus' words here. Jacob's dream might well have been prophetic of Jesus, as many Bible teachers believe