Nathanael

Who Was Nathanael?

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Nathanael
JOHN 1 BIBLE STUDY

John 1:46-51 Nathanael

JOHN 1:46-49  46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Look, truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Why did Nathanael say, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth” (John 1:46)?
A Roman garrison was stationed in Nazareth. The Jewish men who made money doing business with the Roman soldiers were considered traitorous collaborators, while the women who did the same were considered worse. 

What do you think of Nathanael’s initial reaction to what Philip told him?
It was based on his unqualified impressions - i.e., prejudices - against all people from Nazareth ("Nazarenes" - see He shall be called a Nazarene).

How did Philip respond?
He told Nathanael to “come and see” (John 1:46) Jesus for himself.

How applicable is his advice for people today?
Most people who don’t believe in Jesus base their beliefs or the lack of it also on unqualified impressions. They may have heard people who claim to know the Bible talk about it, but they have never studied the evidence - the Bible - for themselves. To them, Philip's invitation to “come and see” Jesus - the Word of God - for themselves applies as much today as it did to Nathanael two thousand years ago.

What trait did Jesus praise about Nathanael?
Honesty: “Look, truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” (John 1:47)

What other traits did Jesus praise in people?
Faith in Him: And when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, begging Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, terribly tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled and said to those following, “Truly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” (Matthew 8:5-10), sacrificial service (see Spikenard), etc.

Did Jesus ever praise people’s personal wealth or physical beauty?
No.

How about their nice house, car, clothes or ability to play with a ball?
 

What traits do you admire in others and yourself?
 

JOHN 1:50-51  50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Who is “Son of Man”?
See Son of Man

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