John 1:34-51

Jesus knows me and you.

(Bấm vào đây để đọc tiếng Việt)


34I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.” 35Again the next day John was standing there with two of his disciples. 36Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Jesus turned around and saw them following and said to them, “What do you want?” So they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39Jesus answered, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. Now it was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. 41He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated Christ). 42Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). 43On the next day Jesus wanted to set out for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44(Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.) 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied, “Come and see.” 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit!48Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!” 50Jesus said to him, “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51He continued, “I tell all of you the solemn truth – you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:34-51)

These verses introduced new individuals to Jesus’ ministries, namely Andrew, Simon Peter (also known as Cephas), Philip, and Nathanael. Nevertheless, there is something remarkable about the interaction between Jesus and Nathanael that holds valuable lessons for our own encounters with the Savior.

Despite being situated in biblical lands, Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, almost as if it had been forgotten. The expression “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” captures the prevailing sentiment among the people of that time. This indicates that Nathanael had no prior knowledge of who Jesus was and had not acquired any understanding from his study of Scriptures.

However, when Jesus encountered Nathanael, he spoke something that appeared to come out of nowhere: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.” This statement took Nathanael by surprise, leading him to inquire, “How do you know me?”

Similar to his contemporaries, Nathanael likely spent time studying Scriptures beneath a fig tree. Yet, beyond simply being aware of Nathanael’s activities, Jesus was acquainted with the specific passage he was reading. By affirming Nathanael as a person without deceit, Jesus revealed that he was aware of Nathanael’s contemplation of Jacob, particularly the account of Jacob’s vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. However, Jesus went further, unveiling the true significance of that ladder: Jesus himself, who would serve as the intermediary between God and humanity.

In the realm of encounters with Jesus, nothing is coincidental. Jesus possessed prior knowledge of Nathanael even before his birth, when he resided within his mother’s womb. Moreover, Jesus had a purpose in mind, intending to reveal to Nathanael “greater things.” Can we dare to imagine ourselves in Nathanael’s position? Absolutely. It is the same Jesus who demonstrates concern for every strand of hair upon our heads and every sparrow in existence. How awe-inspiring it is to comprehend that the God of the entire universe takes a personal interest in each one of us. Just as Jesus knew Nathanael, he also knows me and you.

(Next study: John 2:1-25)

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

Filed under: , and