For the One Week Nine Nathaniel by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Have you truly read and understood all the miracles of the gospels?  Have you seen any miracles recently?

John 1:47-51 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.

We continue our series titled “For the One” based on the book by Dr. Danny Forshee with the same title.  We have been studying characters of the bible and how they were equipped to evangelized.  Hopefully we can take these ideas and utilize them today as we follow the direction of the Great Commission.

We started with Jesus being the teacher, preacher, and molder of man.  We looked at John the Baptist, the Paralytic, and the Samaritan Woman. We examined the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John  and last week we studied the Apostle Phillip.

So, we pick up where we left off last week. Nathaniel lived in Cana, a town about nine miles due north from Nazareth. Phillip is brought into the fold, and he immediately goes and gets Nathaniel and that is who we are talking about this week.

We will pick up in verse 46:

John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

The statement “Can any good come out of this” is a typical brush off and happens every day. People that we are trying to reach will often brush away, but we must be persistent by showing help, hope, caring, and dignity just to name a few.

Let’s start off by understanding that John uses “Israel” and “Israelite” as positive terms for followers of Christ.

John 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

This was considered a compliment to Nathaniel as he welcomed him. Another powerful statement was when Jesus says, “I saw you”.  This lets us know that Jesus is always there even when we think He is not, or we don’t remember Him.

Vs. 49 “Thou art the son of God” is the first confession of Jesus divine role as the Messiah by one of His disciples. Nathanael acknowledges Jesus as the rightful king of Israel, a role that legitimately belonged only to the Messiah.

Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

Towards the end of the passage, the terms “Verily, verily”, also in some translations, “Truly, truly” is to introduce Jesus’ teaching or a traditional saying.  The phrase seems to function to emphasize the importance of what Jesus is about to say.

“You will see heavens open”

Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

“The angels of God ascending and descending” alludes to representing Jesus as the embodiment of all earthly access to the divine realm.

Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Nathaniel spent 3 ½ years being molded by Jesus and during that time he saw many things.  He saw the raising of the dead, healing the cripple, the blind and the lepers. He saw the miracles of feeding the multitudes along with many other amazing things that are all supported in the Gospels.

“The Son of Man” is a title that Jesus uses for himself

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

The title can also refer to “Human one”.

Ezekiel 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

This could also be Jesus acknowledging his humanity and would agree with

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus does that so that He can become the sacrifice prophesized by John the Baptist

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Today’s word is focusing on Jesus witnessing to and ministering to Nathaniel. Remember we learned last week that Nathaniel means “Gift of God”.

Nathaniel is mentioned later in the book of John with other disciples at the Sea of Galilee.  Also, he is mentioned in the Book of Acts in the Upper Room

John 21:2 There was together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

In Conclusion:

  • We must work to end our life on a good note with God. We must be like Nathaniel not like Judas
  • Be Intentional and talk to people we already know. How many people at work have you shared the gospel with? Your bowling leagues? Your neighbors? Your own family?
  • When encountering people start with a positive word, a word of blessing or a compliment.
  • We must remember that Jesus is always watching.  He cares for us even when we don’t think of him.
  • We must tell all about the miracles in the Gospel and encourage new miracles to take place.

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