Service Times

Jesus Calls Phillip and Nathanael

[PRINT HERE] John 1 (11-2-16) Lecture Notes

St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church

Wed Night Bible Study

JOHN 1:43-51

Dr. E.C. Gregory, PhD – Bible Facilitator                                11-2-16                               Dr. H.T. Rhim, Pastor


John 1:43-51 (NLT) 
43  The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.”
44  Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45  Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46  “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47  As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48  “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49  Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50  Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
51  Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”


1:43-44. Though the first disciples were from Galilee, Jesus had called them in Judea where they were with the John The Baptist. On His way north to Galilee, He called Philip to be His disciple. Philip’s hometown of Bethsaida was on the northeast side of the Sea of Galilee. Andrew and Peter were also born there.

1:45. Philip’s testimony to Nathanael stressed that Jesus is the Promised One of whom Moses (Deut. 18:18-19; cf. John 1:2125) and the prophets (Isa. 52:13-53:12Dan. 7:13Micah 5:2Zech. 9:9wrote. Philip surprisingly called Jesus… the son of Joseph.

1:46. Nathanael stumbled over the lowly upbringing of Jesus. Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?Nathanael knew of the poor reputation of Nazareth. Surely the Messiah would come from Jerusalem, How can the Logosbe a Man? Philip was wise enough not to argue, he gently invited his friend to meet Jesus: Come and see. He knew that Nathanael’s questions would then be resolved.

1:47. Jesus, having supernatural knowledge (cf. v. 42), called Nathanael… a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false (“deceitful”) unlike Jacob (cf. v. 51 with Gen. 28:12).

1:48. Nathanael was puzzled as to how Jesus knew about him. Jesus said He knew exactly what Nathanael was doing before Philip came up to him; he was under the fig tree. This expression often meant to have safety and leisure (cf. 1 Kings 4:25Micah 4:4Zech. 3:10). Perhaps here the fig tree was a place for meditation.

1:49. Jesus’ supernatural knowledge moved Nathanael to confess Him as the Son of God and the King of Israel. This does not mean that Nathanael at this early date fully understood the Trinity or the Incarnation

1:50-51. Jesus promised Nathanael a greater basis for belief, probably referring to the miracles in chapters 2-13. From 1:4851 it can be inferred that Nathanael was meditating on Jacob’s life, particularly on the incident recorded in Genesis 28:12. Jacob saw the angels going up and down a ladder. But Nathanael would see… the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *