1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Gospel of John, The Presentation of John's Disciples,  John 1:35-51, Part II - Lesson 9


"They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour."


They came to him about the tenth hour, about 4:00 in the afternoon. 


John remembered the time of day after 60 years. 


It was the time when the work of the day was complete and men looked for rest. 


He said, Come and see and they spent the remainder of the day with him. 


Jesus won their hearts that day as we see in following verses their desire to bring their brothers and friends to the Lord.


Verses1:40-42,  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 Messiah, 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.


John in this verse recognizes the prominence of Peter in the last decade of the first century by using his name to introduce to us the disciple Andrew. 


Andrew is Peter's brother. 


The reader is acquainted with Peter, the inner circle Peter, who performed such mighty acts in the name of Jesus-in Jerusalem at Pentecost, in Caesarea when Gentiles first heard and believed the gospel, and the occurrences where he was used in healing, but who is Andrew? 


He is Peter's brother and Andrew is responsible for bringing the well known Peter to Jesus on that important occasion when John the Baptist revealed Jesus as the Lamb of God. 


Andrew must have recalled with deep satisfaction that day when he brought his brother and their Master together. 


We cannot foresee what Jesus will make of a person that we bring to him. 


What treasures we forfeit when we neglect so great a privilege as it is to bring another to Christ.


But Jesus himself saw what he could make out of Peter. 


He gave him a new name. 


A name which described what Peter would become. 


He described him as a stone, a rock upon which he could build, a stone upon which he could make a beginning, not the rock upon which he would build his church, but a beginning stone which he to lays the walls of his church. 


Peter was the disciple to whom he would give the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 


 A disciple that he, by his Grace, transformed from the vacillating, unstable, impetuous and hasty one to the stable and rock like one that Peter became. 


I imagine Peter recalled this event when he wrote this verse in his first epistle, "Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house" I Peter 2:5


This is another reminder that Jesus Christ is not done with his work in us until we breathe our last breath. 


Don't judge God's unfinished work! 


Don't judge Peter by what you read of his beginning discipleship.


Verses 1:43,44,45,  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.


Bethsaida means 'house of the fisherman' or Fishertown. 


It lay a short distance east of the point where Jordan enters the Sea of Galilee. 


Philip is a Greek name. 


This shows how much Judea had become influenced by Greek customs and ways.


Jesus does not waste a day but goes forth to find a lost sheep. 


Here we see an example of the declaration of Jesus that he had "come to seek and to save that which was lost." 


Apparently no other witness, only Jesus, is involved in this conversion. 


Jesus is the seeker of lost sheep and he finds Philip. 


What does Philip first think of doing? 


 He thinks of his friend, Nathanael, and wants for him what Jesus gave him. 


He does not remain silent of indifferent. 


He tells his friend that he has found, or rather, of the Savior who has found him. 


Here we see our Lord for the first time calling a disciple and he uses a simple phrase to describe a disciple's whole life. 


He says Follow me. 


 "Ye shall walk after the Lord your God and obey his voice."  Deut. 13:4


Verse 46,  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?  Philip saith unto him, Come and see.


Nazareth apparently did not have a high reputation as it was an unimportant place. 


The only reason we know about it is because the Lord spent most of his life there and because of this it is known. 


 Each town in our area has a unique reputation among the locals. 


 So too Nazareth apparently had a soiled reputation. 


Nathanael lived in Cana of Galilee, less than five miles from Remember that it was Nazareth that was the first city to greet Jesus' claims with violence, and was ready to put him to death on the strength on only one days hearing of his teaching. 


The town scorned his claims.


So many times we simply say critical things and these things obscure our ability to view truth. 


We hide behind prejudice and questions. 


Philip does not argue about Nazareth but Philip simply says to Nathaniel, Put Christ to the test, come and see him, talk to him, listen to his word, don't reject him by believing some superstition or prejudice, examine him yourself.


Verse 47,48,  Jesus saw Nathaniel 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.


No guile or no deceit!  Jesus referred to Nathaniel as a true son of Israel. 


We may paraphrase this by saying, one who is all Israel and not Jacob. 


Or, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no Jacob."  Jacob was a man of guile and deceit in his early years, until God broke him and changed him into Israel, a prince with God. 


Jesus saw Nathaniel as honest and open. 


He did not have a hidden agenda. 


What you saw is what he was. 


He was good ground, good ground to receive Jesus' word and Jesus knew his man. 


Nathanael's reaction confirmed Jesus' evaluation of him. 


He did not concentrate on the compliment or deny the statement, by saying, you don't know me, but he accepted the Lord's evaluation and questioned how this man knew him.


Jesus goes further to show his omniscience. 


Christ saw Nathanael and read his heart before he came to him. 


He sees and reads each of us too. 


Nothing can be hid from his eye. 


"Nathanael, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee." 


Nathanael was surprised to hear about the fig tree where he had apparently spent some time recently. 


We don't know the episode. 


The scriptures do not tell us. 


But Nathanael knew what happened under the fig tree and it was enough to bring Nathanael to the exclamation of:


Verse 49,  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God: thou art the King of Israel.


This knowledge that Jesus had was the key that opened Nathanael's heart to belief. 


He acknowledged the deity of Christ. 


One of seven in this gospel who bear witness to Christ's deity. 


The number of completion. 


God gives seven witnesses for your consideration. 


 He says to you, that is enough for anyone to be convinced of what is said. 


God said that in the mouth of two witnesses shall a thing be established. 


He does not stop at two but he gives us seven.


Verses 50, 51, 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.   


Here Jesus carries Nathanael back in thought to the night of Jacob's conversion and reminded him of Jacob's ladder and how Jacob had seen the angels of God ascending and descending that celestial stairway which linked heaven and earth. 


In effect, Jesus said, I am that ladder. 


I put my hand on man and link God, man, heaven and earth. 


I am the only mediator between God and man, between heaven and earth. 


The angels ascend and descend because of me. 


He says that the angels are already here, watching over God's children. 


Note the word ascend before descend. 


If they are going up the ladder to heaven they must be already here. 


They are "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation"


The Lord lifted Nathanael's thoughts to higher ground and give him a glimpse of things and glories to come.  "Ye shall see"