DISSECTING THE SCRIPTURES – No. 3
BY: DAVE GARNER
DECEMBER 14, 2007
One day, after John had baptized Jesus, He was standing with two of his disciples when He looked and saw Jesus walking and he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
And the two disciples heard what he said and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned and saw them following Him and asked them, “Who (What) do you seek?”
They asked Him, “Rabbi, (which is interpreted ‘Master’) where do you live?”
He said to them, “Come and see.”
They came and saw where He lived and stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John the baptizer speak, one of the same two who followed Jesus, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. The first thing he did after leaving Jesus was find his own brother Simon and say to him, “We have found the anointed one,” which is interpreted, the ‘Messiah’ (Savior), and he brought him to Jesus.
And Jesus looked at him and He said, “You are Simon, the son of Jonah, you will be called Cephas,” which interpreted is ‘A rock.’
The next day Jesus, determined to go into Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
Philip was from the city of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip went and found Nathanael and said to him, “I have found Him of whom, Moses in the law and the prophets wrote about, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile (deceit)!”
Nathanael asked Him where He knew him.
Jesus answered him and said, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Nathanael answered, “Rabbi (my master), you are the Son of God and you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this. Truly, truly I say to you, the heavens are open and you will see messengers (angels) of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
FOR COMPARISON: TRADITIONAL KJV
John 1:35-51, 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! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Je-sus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest 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 tenth hour. 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. 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. 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 thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest 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. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES
The term ‘one day after’ used here is in reference to one of the days following the baptism, which had to be at least forty days later after His wilderness experience, because according to Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1; and Mark 1:12-13; immediately after the baptism, Jesus was driven by the spirit into the wilderness for forty days. The Gospel of John (not the baptizer) did not record the event concerning Jesus being in the wilderness for forty days, but neither does the Gospels of Matthew, Mark or Luke record the event contained in these verses concerning His disciples.
John the baptizer identified Jesus as “The Lamb of God,” in front of Andrew, who later became a disciple of Jesus. Therefore, at least Andrew had been informed of the true identity of Jesus, as it was John’s statement that inspired him and the other disciple of John to follow Him. John describing Him as “The Lamb of God” instead of the Son of God, clearly indicates that John knew the destiny of Jesus, who was to become the sacrificial lamb. He had already stated in the previous verses that Jesus came to take away the sins of the world. Both statements together demonstrate that John was speaking prophetically under the influence of the Holy Spirit and very well knew why Jesus came into the world. After Andrew and the other disciple followed Jesus home, Andrew went to find his brother Cephas (Peter) and tell him he had found the Messiah, the Savior of the world. By his declaration to his brother that he had found the Messiah, he clearly believed what John the baptizer had said about Jesus or he would not have followed Him home. The revelation that He was the Messiah must have been even more confirmed to him after his visit with Jesus, as is obvious by what he did afterward, bringing Peter to meet Jesus. According to John’s Gospel, it was when Simon first met Jesus that He changed his name to Cephas (Peter).
The next day Jesus went and found Philip and bid him to come with (follow) Him. Philip was also convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, because he quickly left to look for his brother Nathanael, and when he found him the first thing he said to him was that he had found the one that Moses and all of the prophets had foretold would come. This is a clear indication that at least Philip had more than just a casual understanding of the prophecies of old, and as well, an expectation of their fulfillment, for it stands to reason that he would not have found the Messiah if he had not been looking for Him. Therefore, there were those individuals who were looking for the appearing of a deliverer, even if they had no understanding as yet, of from what He was going to deliver them. Nathanael’s question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth” leaves the indication that at least he didn’t think very highly of the town. As far as I can tell, there are no references to the town of Nazareth within the Old Testament, therefore all references to it have been lost or it is called by a different name.
Jesus Himself testified of Nathanael’s character as being sincere and honest. It is fascinating to me why Jesus did not choose Nathanael to be a part of His inner most circle rather than Peter, since scriptures describe Peter as being impulsive and stubborn. History does not provide us with the details concerning why Jesus became so close to Peter, but Jesus knows the hearts of man and there must have been a quality in Peter that we are unaware of now.
King Solomon knew that the heavens would be “shut up” against the people if they sinned against God. (2 Chron. 6:26, 7:12-14) Isaiah the prophet also prophesied that the heavens would be shut up against the unbelievers. (Isaiah 29:8-13) Jesus said the Scribes and Pharisees had shut up the kingdom of heaven against men because they would not enter into the kingdom of heaven themselves and refused to let anyone else enter. (Matthew 23:13) But, Jesus told Nathanael that the heavens were opened and he would see the messengers of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. Jesus opened the door to the kingdom of heaven when He came, and He was, is and always will be the way into the kingdom of heaven, for He alone is the foundation upon which the kingdom of heaven rest. If I ascend into the heavens, He (the Living Word of Truth) is there, and if I descend into the lowest depths of the earth, He (the Living Word of Truth) is there also. Praise His Holy Name!!!
JOHN No. 3 [Dave Garner] 12-14-07 ~ BIBLE STUDY 1