Sermon/Study Guide: The Jesus I Follow
Author: Steve Hixon
Table of Contents
John 1:43-51 The Message
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip's hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
Who was Nathaniel? (consult a Bible dictionary)
We know that Jesus had twelve disciples. Yet Nathaniel is mentioned only in John’s gospel. Who is he?
What did the Jewish name “Nathaniel” mean?
Names can mean a lot. Going back to verse 35, and then on through verse 51, how many different ways is Jesus referred to?
God involves us in His work.
In the process of gathering these 4 disciples—Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel, what pattern do you see?
Who was your Andrew, or your Philip?
Did Andrew & Philip use intricate arguments to win over their brothers? If not, what did they do?
Nathaniel’s first response.
How did Nathaniel first respond to Philip? What was his estimation of Jesus? What kind of attitude did he exhibit?
Nathaniel’s second response: he “repents”.
When most people hear the word “repent” they tend to think of someone emotionally saying “I’m sorry” or steadfastly promising to change their behavior. While those things may accompany repentance, the Greek word is “metanoia”, which literally means “to change your mind”.
SON OF GOD |
One of the primary titles of Jesus in the NT. His claim to this title was the principal charge that the Jewish leaders made against him (Matt 26:63-64; Mark 14:61-62; cf. John 5:17-18; 19:7). The confession that Jesus is the Son of God was basic to the teaching of the apostles and the faith of the early church (2 Cor 1:19; Gal 2:20; 1 John 4:15; 5:5, 13). The title is to be understood both as a synonym for Messiah (Ps 2:7; Matt 16:16; 26:63; 27:40) and as implying deity through a unique relation with the Father (John 5:18).
The filial consciousness of Jesus and his unique relationship with the Father are particularly emphasized in John's Gospel. Jesus is God's only Son (John 1:18), one with the Father (10:30), always doing the Father's will (4:34; 5:30; 6:38), and being in the Father as the Father is in him (10:38). He speaks what he hears from the Father (12:50), has unique knowledge of the Father (10:15; cf. Matt 11:27), and possesses the authority of the Father (John 3:35; 5:22; 13:3; 16:15). Thus, only in and through the Son is God's salvation given (3:36; 5:26; 6:40).
Outside the Gospels, God is called "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," suggesting a particular intimacy between Father and Son (Rom 15:6; 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3; Col 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Rev 1:6). By his resurrection and ascension Jesus is designated Son of God (Rom 1:3) and preached to be so (Acts 8:37; 9:20; 13:33; 2 Cor 1:19). The distinction and difference between Jesus and the great prophets of Israel is that Jesus is the unique Son of God (Heb 1; 3:6). Finally, there is the trinitarian formula in Matthew 28:19.
- NIV Bible Dictionary
How does Nathaniel “change his mind” about who Jesus is, and why?
Old story, new insight.
What Old Testament event is Jesus referring to in verse 51? (read Genesis 28:10-17)
What did it mean to Jacob in that context?
What new meaning was Jesus giving to this?
When you think of Jesus as the Son of God, what response do you have? How does it feel to know that you can have an intimate, personal relationship with God who came in human form?
They [the disciples] were inclined to judge Jesus by His earthly father, Joseph. They were trying to measure His worth by His earthly home, Nazareth. He opened up to them the truth that any earthly setting at which He is present becomes the gateway to heaven.”
- Ravi Zacharias,
He is the image of the invisible God...
for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…”
- Colossians 1:15, 2:9