The Search Continues

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(John 1:43-50)

Jesus’ first apostles were Andrew and Simon Peter. His followers quickly grew in number for on the very next day, two new apostles were added—Philip and Nathanael.

It is amazing to note Philip’s response. He was called by Jesus once, using only two words—Follow me—and Philip did not hesitate. After that, he even testified for Jesus. Talking to Nathanael, he said Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph, is the answer to the Scriptures. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies.

Nathanael’s reaction is predictable. He doubted Jesus because of his origin—can anything good come from there (Nazareth)? The Scriptures say Bethlehem is the birthplace of the Messiah. Probably, Nathanael knows this so he disbelieves Jesus. He does not know, however, that Jesus is born in Bethlehem and he is raised only in Nazareth. This critical mistake has led many to doubt Jesus.

Philip’s response is a command. Much like what Jesus said—come and see—but this time, Philip needs to prove Jesus’ claims, so he asks Nathanael to follow and see for himself. Jesus is more than enough proof of what he claims, that’s why Philip wants Nathanael to see the Truth firsthand.

In John 1:47, Jesus tells Nathanael who he is inside—a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false. This piece of information moves him, for it reveals what the eyes cannot see. Jesus knows the truth about Nathanael, and he recognizes himself in His words.

His astonishment leads him to ask—how do you know me? Jesus answers him in a mysterious way—I saw you while you were still under the fig-tree before Philip called you—but somehow it strikes a chord in Nathanael because immediately after, he professes that Jesus is the Son of God, the King of Israel. Jesus caps their conversation by saying that greater things will come. Nathanael has believed Him with a simple information, but these new believers are soon to discover how much more glorious their Master is.

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