Nathanael’s Calling and Conversion

1. Context of the Call – 2 prophetic dimensions
2. The amazing first week – Transition from John to Jesus
3. Nathanael  – A 7- point teaching 

1  The Context of the Call  –  2 prophetic dimensions

1  The War of the Seeds

The Messiah had come. Jesus had walked on to the centre-stage of Redemption history on the banks of the Jordan, to establish the New Covenant in His blood, and to seek and save the lost sheep of the House of Israel. The first two actions of His ministry were to be baptized by John, ‘to fulfill all righteousness’, and to be’ driven into the wilderness to be tested of the devil’. The ‘second Adam’ succeeded where Eve and indirectly Adam failed.  It was 4000 years earlier in the Garden of Eden that God had pronounced the first gospel promise in Genesis 3:15.  It was in that foundational prophecy foretelling how the Messiah would suffer at the hands of Satan, but would be resurrected in victory, conquering Man’s greatest enemies.  Satan himself, Sin, Death and Hell.  It also declared the ages- long war between the ‘Seed of the Serpent’ and the ‘Seed of the Woman’.  The ‘children of the Kingdom’ and the’children of the wicked one’. [Mat. 13:38]. The Devil’s great delusion was that he thought by destroying the ‘woman’ Israel, he could prevent the coming forth of  the promised Messiah, bringing salvation to lost mankind. [1 Corinthians 2:8]. Pharoh tried to destroy her in the womb in Egypt, the Amalakites before entering the Promised Land, Haman whilst in captivity, Herod at the Nativity of Jesus.  ‘But God’.

The ‘Seed of the Serpent’ today.

This devouring lion and deceiving serpent has been active throughout NT history, but is now running in overdrive to remove Israel off the map,  knowing he can no longer get his hands on the Exalted Risen Son of God, but seeks to annul God’s promises to save and restore her as a nation. Likewise the Church, the ‘one new man’. Satan cannot touch our great High priest who sits on the right hand of God interceeding for His saints, but ferociously tries to destroy ‘Christ in us, the hope of glory’, by every temptation and deception, he can muster. BUT, ‘Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world’. But wait!  Knowing the scripture is not enough.  We must apply it. How many demonic doctrines and seducing spirits have been poured out in the last three decades in our experience?  All of which belong to the ‘Tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ of which if any one eats they shall die.  The false faith movements like Positive Confession, Prosperity Gospel, the Atonement Heresy [I am a little god], the deceiving demonic spirit manifestations like Toronto,  Pensecola.  The Hitler stadium-style Promise Keepers, [Male bonding].  Alpha’s ecumenism which always leads to Rome [Mystery Babylon], Purpose Driven [church growth management, communitarianism, core values linked with United Nations world government agenda]. ‘Narnia’, ‘The Shack’, ‘Harry Potter’,  The ‘DaVinci Code’ and a host of other material in books and film, are seducing millions into witchcraft, New-age spirituality and the occult at all levels. The market place of counterfeit truth is vast, and the devil’s master card has been to alter many bibles by removing or blurring the deity of Christ, and the finished work of the blood atonement for sin. Let us keep to the old paths and obey the unchanging word which instructs us to Prove all things, Test the spirits, Beware of false teachers and prophets, search the scriptures daily, approve things that are excellent, rightly divide the word of truth, and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered. Yes, prove what is acceptable to the Lord.

2.  The Shekinah Glory – The Presence of the Lord

The second prophetic dimension I would like to consider, is the progressive way God had revealed Himself to mankind through His chosen vessel, Israel, demonstrating that the God of Creation wanted a close relationship with those He had created and how this fellowship could be achieved and maintained through obedience and faithfulness to the Covenant.

God in Christ had walked and talked with Adam in the Garden.  Also Abraham, Jacob and Moses all experienced awesome closeness. After leaving Egypt, [Exodus 13:21] Israel experienced the guiding and protection of God’s visible presence, first in the Pillar of cloud and fire, and then over the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, where God met with man. [Exodus 25:22]. In Exodus 40:33 we read that ‘Moses having set up the hanging of the court gate…finished the work’. Then it was when the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  Again when Solomon had dedicated the temple [Chron 5:1] and ‘all the work he made for the house of the Lord was finished’, then it was that the priests could not stand to minister, for the Glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. The children of  Israel had knowledge and personal experience of the closeness of God.  However her history was chequered with apostacy and reform until Israel and Judah in their final years of rebellion and idolatory were both taken into captivity. We read in Ezekiel 10:18 how the Glory of the Lord departed from the first Temple, leaving in four stages, and how that Glory will return in the same manner when Messiah establishes His Millenial Temple.  When the Jewish remnant returned from captivity in Babylon under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, the second temple was built. It is important to remember that the ‘Glory of the Lord’ never filled that temple for the Ark of God never rested in it, as it had the Tabernacle in the wilderness and Solomon’s Temple.  Haggai tells us that the older men returning from Babylon wept, as they remembered the sheer beauty of the first Temple of Solomon. The prophets promise is that the latter house will outshine them all. This is the Millenial Temple in view here. Before that would occur however there was to be another glorious manifestation of the presence of God, but only seen by hearts moved by the Spirit of God.  ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, and we we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’  Now men could behold the Glory in the form of a man——the God-Man.  At the close of the Old Testement [Tenach], Malachi ends his ministry with the world under Persian rule, and the commencement of the New Testement [Brit Hadasha] Matthew begins under Roman occupation. During this 400 year gap it was far from silent. The Greek empire was being played out exactly as prophecied in Daniel.  As far as Israel were concerned they would never again go into captivity due to idolatry and whoring after other ‘gods’ of the pagans. Sadly instead they began to forment a dead religion of ‘do’s and don’ts’, and instead of a relationship with God, formality and orthodoxy without faith became the order of the day. It was at this God-appointed time in world history that Jesus came. As we arrive back at Jordan, two groups of people are in view.  Those ‘who sat in darkness who have seen a great light’ along with many ‘pressing into the kingdom’, and those John described as ‘O generation of vipers’ the mockers, scorners and hypocrites, the self-righteous religionists of the day. It is to this scene of heaving humanity that we look into the first amazing week of the calling of the first disciples, focusing on Nathanael.

2  The Amazing first week.  –  Transition from John to Jesus.

Much could be said of this first week marking the beginning of Jesus’s Ministry and disciplemaking.

We must remember Jesus was to be ‘manifest to Israel’ through John’s baptism,and  would also perform 8 ‘Sign’ miracles in the months ahead, which were to confirm and convince Israel of His Deity and Messiahship. We must also keep in mind that John had many disciples, but the time had come for him to confess ‘I must decrease’, that ‘He might increase’.  Like the Holy Spirit, John was utterly selfless in his obedince to the will of God.  We too must more and more decrease from indulged self interest, self importance, the false god of self esteem and all that would quench and grieve the Holy Spirit within us. To be like Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant.

Chart of the first week

The chronological order of events commencing at John1:19. -2:1.  THURSDAY to WEDNESDAY

V.19-28  John interviewed by the Sanhedrin delegation.  THURSDAY

  2 Issues concerned them: 

  Are you Elias or that Prophet?

  Why baptizest thou then?

  The Jewish leaders knew about baptisms as indicating

  a fresh start or new beginning of belief or lifestyle, but

  didn’t understand the deeper meaning that John’s baptism

  typified, that of the death, burial and resurrection, of the

  ‘Lamb of God’, and it’s subsequent application to true disciples.

V29-34  ‘The next day’.    FRIDAY

  The historic moment, when John recognises Jesus and 

  declares to all, ‘Behold , the Lamb of God, which taketh

  away the sin of the world’.

V35-42  ‘Again the next day’   SATURDAY/SABBATH

  John now stands with two of his disciples, and declares

  a second time, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’.  This is

  ‘a silent handing over’ of the first of Jesus Disciples. The two,

  Andrew and John follow Jesus.

  Jesus enquires ‘what seek thee?’  And after enquiring as to

  where Jesus was dwelling, He said ‘come and see’.

  Andrew finds his brother,  Simon [Peter] declaring ‘We have

  found the Messias’ and brought him to Jesus.  The Lord

  changes his name to Cephas –  meaning ‘A stone’. 

V43-51  ‘The day following’.    SUNDAY

  Jesus would now go to Galilee, north of the lower Jordan,

  and finding Philip, says  ‘Follow Me’.  Philip like

  Andrew before him declared to Nathanael-  ’We have found Him’.

John 2:1  ‘And the third day’    WEDNESDAY

  i.e. After the Sunday,  was a marriage in Cana.

  Here begins the first of the ‘sign miracles’ to show forth the deity

  of the Lord.


  Young maidens were married on a Wednesday,  and widows on a Thursday.

3.  Nathanael – A 7-point teaching  John 1:45 – 51

Nathanael means ‘God has given’, and how we too can answer, Amen’.  He is known as Bartholomew in the synoptic gospels, which means ‘Son of Tolomai’.

1 His Calling  V45

Like Nathanael,  most ‘Born-again’ disciples remember a time when someone spoke the gospel to them. But the real work had started previously by the drawing and convicting power of God in the heart, for God alone is always the great first cause. Paul declares our calling is a ‘High, Heavenly and Holy Calling’. We could never create this, it must ‘come down’ for it is a gift from above, so He gets all the Glory.

‘We have found Him’.   Philip gives 4 facts.

Whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write.

Acts 15:21 tells us that Moses had been preached in every city and read every Sabbath. This included a short selection from the Prophets read on every Sabbath in a Jewish synagogue following a reading from the Torah , and called ‘Haftarah’.  The heart and mind of the Jew was conditioned to expect the coming of Messiah. A ‘deep to deep’ longing for the One who would free them from bondage of oppressors.  What had Philip and Nathanael believed from their torah scriptures. Most certainly they would have understood the promised Victor [’The seed of the woman’] in Gen 3:15.  Also the coming ‘seed’ descending from Abraham who would bless all nations. [Gen 22:18 and Galatians 3:16 confirms this as Christ].  Certainly ‘a Prophet like unto Moses’ who would speak all that God commanded, and again the wonderful promise in Gen 49:10 that ‘The sceptre would not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. Shiloh being a name of Messiah with a root related to ‘shalom’ meaning bringer of Peace.  We too can testify that ‘we have found him’, and we too, had a longing for a deliverer to free us from our bondage to sin and the guilt and shame it caused us, and to bring us peace with a holy God . Because Jesus is the ‘Living Word’, he not only came to speak all that God commanded, but He also demonstrated and lived out the Perfect Law, by example.  We too, are called to walk in holiness,

Not by a dead letter and religious ritual, but by ‘faith which worketh by love.’

The Prophets had written progressive accounts of the coming, Prophet, Priest, King, Redeemer and Judge. No detail was left out. Mankind whether Jew or Gentile is without excuse. Isaiah, the ‘Prince of the Prophets’ speaks of the ‘sign’ given by God Himself, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. [God with us]. He describes this as ‘a child born’ contrasting with ‘a son given’.  Here we have the glorious truth of the eternal deity of the Messiah, the God-Man.  The Son of God and the Son of Man. The joining of eternal power and majesty with perfect human compassion and humility.We see the beautiful type of this in the Ark of the Covenant which was made of shittim wood overlaid with pure gold.  Christ’s perfect deity and humanity in one.

The deep-seated problem today

Nothing has changed, Jesus stated clearly then and it is still the same today amongst the orthodox community. ‘If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will one be persuaded, though one rise from the dead.  Luke 16:31  John 5:45-47.  We recall that Jesus disciples too, struggled  with His death and resurrection. On the road to Emmaus Christ chastises them for ‘being slow of heart to believe all the prophets had spoken. Luke 24:25.

 Jesus of Nazerth, the son of Joseph.

Being from Nazareth was a problem for Nathanael. We’ll consider that in a minute. We remember first that Joseph was the legal father, but NOT the biological father of Jesus.  Jesus is the Son of God.  Mary is the mother of Jesus, but NOT the ‘Mother of God’.  ‘Both Joseph and Mary were decendants of David. Joseph through Solomon [Mat1:7-15], inheriting the legal right to the throne of David, and Mary through Nathan, [Luke 23:31], her line carrying the seed of David, since Solomon’s line had been refused the throne because of Jeconiah’s sin. [Jeremiah 22:24-30]’.  [Henry Morris Bible notes].

2.  His Doubt  V. 46

Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?

When one thinks of Nathanael, it is this famous question that springs to mind. There are two possible reasons for this uncharitable dilema. The first is that scripture itself prophesies Messiah’s birth would be at Bethlehem-Ephratah. [Micah 5:2], and people are often associated with the place of their birth.

The second argument is that the name Nazareth is never mentioned in the OT.  As a Galilean Nathanael obviously had some knowledge about it’s citizens, and expresses it strongly.  Nazareth had been an isolated and obscure place and we can glean from scripture some interesting clues as to it’s character. Isaiah 9:1,2 gives an overview of how God had allowed terrible affliction by the Assyrians due to Israel’s idolatory and unfaithfulness to God,  but would one day be the first region in Israel that would experience the ministering blessings of Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy  ‘that the people [from the land of Zebulun and Naphtali] that sat in darkness would see a great light’.  We read in Luke 4:16-30 the account of Jesus preaching in the Nazareth synagogue, declaring after He had read from Isaiah 61, that ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears’.  It wasn’t that itself that drew out the venom and hostility against our Lord, but His reminding them of the days of Elijah and Elisha, when only two gentiles, Naaman and the widow of Sidon had received the Lord’s blessing of healing and provision. Always only through faith and obedience does God pour out His multiple graces upon the ‘whosoever’.  We are called to learn and be admonished if need be, by the biblical record of Israel’s mistakes, so we that through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

Many of God’s people have doubted at certain times in their walk, through ignorance or confusion, but it is wilful rejection of God’s Son that is so sinful and brings the judgement of God. 

  Trust and obey,

  for there’s no other way

  to be happy in Jesus,

  but to trust and obey.

‘Come and see’

Philip didn’t debate or argue, he new ‘seeing Jesus’ would move his heart, as it had his own.

We too mustn’t be put off by peoples predjedices about Christ  but lovingly invite them to come an see.  The corporate love and kindness of God’s people plus the observable reverence and holy fear towards Him, can attract and convict others that God is Holy and all compassionate.

3  His Character  V. 47

Here we see that Jesus has the power to search the heart, a fact that demonstrates His divinity.  [Proverbs 15:3]. This should be a constant and sobering reminder to us all that our deepest thoughts and attitudes stand naked before our omniscient God. How this alone renders all ‘religious ritual’ a vain and useless activity.

Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.

Jesus takes us back to the account of Jacob in Genesis 32, who was a man full of guile, agendas, and trickery, until that night of confrontation with God.  Hosea 12:4 informs us that the ‘Man’ Jacob wrestled with was the ‘Angel of the Lord’, a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amazing… Now God manifest in the flesh talks to Nathanael.  It was at Penial that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, from ‘deceiver’ to ‘God’s fighter’.  Romans 2:29 informs us that ‘He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter’.  So Jacob the ‘deceiver’ comes forth as a spirit-led man called Israel, and now Jesus declares Nathanael to be of this quality of character. Guileless!

No Guile

We’re told in Psalm 32:2 that ‘blessed is the man …in whose spirit there is no guile’ showing where the source of this problem lies. Our hearts truly are desperately wicked if left to ourselves. Duplicity and double-mindedness is something we are constantly warned against and have to battle with.. Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 2:22,23 : ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should  follow in His steps. He committed no sin and no deceit [guile] was found in His mouth. Our mouth is the great communicator for good or ill. It is said also of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses before the Lamb in heaven, that in their mouth was found no guile [no lie].

If we truly are seekers after truth, then we must examine for ourselves the evidence presented to us. Sincerity and devotion towards God is our straight path. The bible warns us of those like Korah and Absolom who were taken out of their place of calling because of pride, discontent, jealousy etc. In Korah’s case it wasn’t the privilege of the work of the priesthood that inspired him but designs on position, resulting in a direct rejection of God’s authority that had been placed on Moses having been the receiver of the Law. A present day equivilent are those false teachers who have rejected the authority of God’s written Word, and are leading countless souls into God’s wrath. Again with Absolom, it wasn’t the zeal for righteousness and justice that made him strive for his fathers crown but ambition and all it’s attendant trophies.

4.  His Question  V. 48

‘Whence [how] knowest thou me?’

Philip had said to Nathanael earlier ‘come and see’.  On approaching,  Jesus talking to His disciples in Nathanael’s hearing, declared him to be a man without guile. A true Israelite. ‘How do You know these things about me?’  So here in this first meeting we have a glimpse of  Jesus’ supernatural knowledge, and the revealing of information only known to Nathanael himself.  As it was with Nathanael so it is with us, as God lays bare the thoughts of our heart, we are aware that our deepest needs can only ever  be met in Him. It is in these moments of  the Holy spirit’s revealing and convicting that we cry out true heart praise to God.

‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee’.

As we draw out midrashic meaning of the fig tree, we see a type of the Tree of Life. God’s commandment to Adam and Eve allowed them to eat from every tree, except the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which stood near the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden. Their failure to obey God resulted in three tragic events for the ‘fall’ of mankind.

1. God’s Law was broken.

2 God’s creatures through sin would die physically and spiritually.

3 The way to the Tree of Life was now barred.

  [The Tree of Life had the properties to sustain mortal man to live forever, as it will be in the New Jerusalem for healing of the nations].

We know there is no failure in God, and nothing ever takes Him by surprise. Redemption’s plan was already realised and finished in the heart and mind and will of God.  ‘The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’. So God was going to reveal His Salvation plan through the nation of Israel and in due time Jesus Christ, God’s only Son would come and reverse the awful results of the fall.

1.  In His life He perfectly kept  God’s Law and fulfilled it for us.

2.  In death, He tasted death for everyone.

3.  Through His sacrifice on the ‘tree of Golgotha’ he supercedes the tree of life, offering eternal life to all who will feed, not on the fruit of the tree, but on Him by faith. He IS the way, the truth and THE LIFE.

The fig tree has deep significance also for Jews, and is a type of the Nation of Israel. We see this in both the Old and New Testements.  Sometimes in a positive light of future blessing, other times in a negative light of warning or curse.  Hosea 9:10,  Micah 4:4,  Zechariah 3:10,  Luke 13:6-9. 

It speaks of:  Devotion / Prosperity / Peace / Blessing / Intamacy / Shade from the heat.

Jesus sees in secret, when we don’t realize it, especially in our private devotions. He hears our prayers and takes note of our meditations.  He judges our character mostly by our private devotions.  Our closets show what we are.  

‘I saw thee’.

God who alone sees into hearts and knows all thoughts, has preserved in scripture a memorial to Nathanael’s devotion, just like Mary’s breaking of the alabaster box.

5.  His Confession  John 1:49

Only a short time had elapsed from Nathanael’s reaction against any good thing emerging from Nazareth to this glorious confession of faith.

‘Thou art the Son of God’   Who has read my inmost being.

‘Thou art the King of Israel’  Who alone can meet the longing and hope of my heart.

We remember the other great confessions of faith in the New Testement revealing Jesus as both God and Messiah. In these days of great apostacy, it is wonderful and instructive for the saints to feast on these precious truths. It was John the Baptizer who first declared ‘And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God’. John 1:34.  Then Nathanael.  Then the Angels. John 1:51.  Then the demons speaking through the Gadarene asked the question–’What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God?  He also had come running and worshiped Jesus.  Mark 5:7.  Satan himself identifies Jesus as th Son of God in the wilderness Temptation. Matt 4:3.

When Peter had walked on the water, and was back in the boat with Jesus, the Disciples together worshiped Him and declared  ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God’.  Matt 14:33. 

When we consider too, how Jesus humbled Himself and leaving His Glory behind, made Himself of no reputation, taking upon Him the form of a servant and becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross, the long descent from the Throne of Glory to His incarnation as a Man, we can only bow in awe. When He started His ministering journey after being baptized, Anointed in the power of the Spirit, and tempted by Satan down in the Jordan valley [which means ‘decender’] He proceeded by gradually ascending towards the Mount of Transfiguration where the manifestation of His Glory was seen by Peter, John and James.  It was at this furthest geographical point in the north of Israel, that the Lord set his forehead like flint towards Jerusalem, this time descending from the heights to the lowest place of humility and shame, that of Golgotha. And if that wasn’t enough He went even lower to rescue the souls from ‘Abraham’s Bosom’, those who had died in faith in the Old Testement, before He ascended again this time to His Father and High Priestly ministry seated on the right hand of the Father.

It was just before the transfiguration, at Ceaserea Philippi that Peter declared ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’.  Reminding us of Jeremiah’s declaration in 10:10 that ‘The LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King. [King of Eternity].  ‘For as the Father has life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself’. John 5:26.  He, the Living One who came down from heaven and gives life to the world.  6:33.  These scriptures again prove His divine nature, and bring great comfort in this perverse generation.

Martha also ‘saith unto Him, yea Lord , I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world’.  A positive affirmation of John’s first epistle instruction on ‘testing the spirits’.

1 John 4:2

The central purpose of John’s gospel is summed up in 20:31.  ‘But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.

Jesus only ever revealed Himself openly to two people. The first was the woman at the well.

‘I that speak unto thee am He’  John 4:26.

The second is the wonderful account of the man born blind in John 9:35-38.

Jesus said unto him:  ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God’? ………………

Jesus said unto him:  ‘Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with Thee’………….

This scripture is proof positive that Jesus is saying that He is the Son of God.  Yet muslims would still argue that Jesus never actually declares Himself to be the Son of God.  There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see. Tragic.

The possibly most renowned faith declaration comes from the lips of Thomas.

‘My Lord and my God’.  Messiahship and Deity  John 20: 28

Down through the centuries echoes our Lord’s words of loving rebuke: 

Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed:  blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  20:29.

The Lord wants us to be blessed, and unlike the natural [unsaved] man, who seeks to understand before believing, biblical faith says believe and then you will understand. This isn’t to suggest it is blind or mindless faith, but trusting in the facts given in scripture that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again for our justification. This is then followed by the blessed gift of the Holy Spirit in us that winesses that we are the children of God and seals within our souls God’s promise of our redemption and eternal inheritance.  Ephesians 1:13,14.

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.  1 John 5:10.

This inner witness of the Holy Spirit is a great blessing and comfort to born-again believers, and it is of vital importance that we maintain our fellowship with God and each other, for this governs our fruitfullness for God’s glory. God’s love for us and ours for Him, is governed always by our heart relationship.

And thou shalt love the Lord with all your heart……..
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…………
For where your treasure is there will be your heart also.
Doing the will of God from the heart.
My son / daughter give me thine heart.

6.  His Faith  V50

It is Christ’s supernatural insight into Nathanaels character that convinces him that he is being confronted by the Son of God. Christ tells us this is so in V50.  Like the Samaritan woman at the well who declared to her own people, ‘Come and see a man who told me all things I ever did’. In John 4:4

we read-  ‘ that they didn’t believe on her account’ but having come and heard Him, then they did. ‘We know this is the Christ,  the Savior of the world’.

Jesus now goes on to say…….

‘You will see greater things than these’.

One senses the all encompassing draw on Nathanael’s spirit, he was being invited by God Himself to receive more. Nathanael, along with other disciples would soon begin to witness not only Christ’s Omniscience, [All knowing] but His Omnipotentcy [All power]. Starting in 3 days time at Cana.

The 8 Signs to Israel.   [An overhead Acetate]

Simeon had declared in Luke 2:32 That his eyes had seen God’s salvation, The Messiah– who would be a light to the gentiles, and a glory of Thy people Israel .

All the 8 signs were to show forth the utter destitution of Israel as a nation.

The Marriage of Cana  New wine = New Life and Joy  None without Christ

The Ruler’s son healed.  Israel was at the beginning of Jesus ministry ‘at the point of  death’  They needed the ‘Life Giver’.

The impotent man  38 years  =  Long standing problem, none could help.  Israel  impotent through sin.

Feeding of 5000  Jesus, The Creator and provider of all temporal and spiritual needs.

Walking on the sea  Jesus is the Creator and Lord of the elements. He created all things  and will dissolve and re-create all things new.

Man born blind.  From birth.  No hope at all.  Israel in  ‘spiritual blindness’ as the  result of sin.

Lazarus Raised  Dead in tomb  Israel too, near the end of Jesus ministry was considered  by God to be dead.  Only resurrection could bring life.

8 Draught of fishes.  ‘Children have you any meat’?  Cast…… and you shall find. Only in  Christ and guided by Him can we be fruitful.

  7 disciples present.  =  The spiritual perfection by which Israel  will be gathered. 153 fish = relates to the remnant  of Israel saved.

  Isa. 27:12  One by one.   Amos 9:9  Not the least grain fall upon the earth.

The understanding of this 8 Signs varies amongst commentator’s and in a sense are depthless. The above are through the spiritual eyes of Bullinger [Companion Bible] and give a balanced view.

7.  His Prospect  V51

Refering back to Jacob’s dream

Angels ascending and descending 

Jacob had seen a ladder between earth and heaven.  Supernatural revelation given by God.  But Nathanael would not see a ladder but The Son of Man, upon whom the angels would appear.  Jesus always was, and  always will be the ONLY means of access to God in heaven. 

The Son of Man

Jesus’ most prolific title of Himself.  Over 80 times in N.T.  13 times in John’s Gospel.

Associated with his Humiliation, Humanity, Crucifixion and suffering.

After Nathanael had made his memorable confession of  Christ’s Eternal deity as Son of God, and then his identification of Jesus being the King of Israel, it is as though Jesus was to begin to reveal through Nathanael, His real  present and urgent agenda, by declaring Himself to be the Son of Man. The One who had to come in humiliation, learn obedience through suffering, leading many sons to glory, had His Glory and Power veiled, so as to identify with those He had created.  For this He endured the cross and despised the shame.  What love is this?

So the title "Son of Man" is a reference to Jesus’ humanity, it is not a denial of His deity. By becoming a man, Jesus did not cease being God.  He had two natures (divine and human) in one person. Phil 2:7,8.

Mat. 26:63,64

Here we see both titles confirmed by Jesus Himself.

‘Son of Man’ expresses also his Incarnation and His work of Salvation. In the OT the next of kin always functioned as a ‘kinsman redeemer’ of a family .  Jesus became related to us by blood by becoming a man, so He could be our Kinsman Redeemer and rescue us from sin. Not just to keep us from Hell,-but to equip and prepare us for a glorious destiny, one day serving Him in His millenial Kingdom on earth.

Like Nathanael, our prospect is glorious…..

Matt 25:21

His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Revelation 3:21

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.

Jude 24,25.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen.