In our previous text we studied about the very first

disciples of Jesus.  Our text today follows up on that theme and

speaks about two more disciples being added to that small group.

Philip and Nathanael will be added to the group.


I.  The time element


    I want to back up and pick up the time element.  Verse 19

speaks of a day in which the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem sent a

delegation of priests and Levites to John the Baptist to question

him.  They wanted to find out if he claimed to be the Christ.

    Verse 29 tells that on the next day John the Baptist

identified Jesus as the Christ.  He had been preaching that the

Christ would soon come on the scene, but he had not told the

people who the Christ is. On this day John informed the crowd

that Jesus is the Christ.

    Verse 35 tells that on the next day John the Baptist talks

personally with two of his disciples and informs them that Jesus

is the Christ.  Those two disciples of John immediately became

disciples of Jesus.  They followed after Him and spent the day

talking with Jesus and listening to every word that He had to


    One of the two disciples of John was Andrew, Simon Peter's

brother.  The writer of the book does not tell us who the other

disciples is.  We have reason to believe that he is the Apostle

John.  That is, he is John, the fisherman who is the brother of

James and who later became an apostle.  Both of these men ---

both Andrew and John --- had been disciples of John the Baptist

and, if this is John, both have now become disciples of Jesus.

    On the same day that Andrew and John learned for sure that

Jesus is the Christ and became disciples of Jesus, Andrew brought

Simon Peter to Jesus and he also became a disciple of Jesus.

Simon Peter had also first been a disciple of John the Baptist

and he, too, became a disciple of Jesus.

    This makes a total of three men who became disciples of Jesus

on that day.  There was Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter plus

the un-named disciples who was probably John, the writer of this

book.  Someone has suggested that John also brought his brother,

James, to Jesus on that same day even though it is not mentioned

in the text.  In view of John's reluctance to mention his own

name due to modesty, it is easy to believe that he would also be

reluctant to mention him bringing James to Jesus.  If he had said

that the un-named disciple brought his brother, James, to Jesus,

that would have been the equivalent of telling everybody who the

un-named disciple is.  So this makes at least three new disciples

of Jesus on this day and possibly four.

    All four of these men had been disciples of John the Baptist.

All four of them had professed to repent of their sins and to

believe in the coming Christ which John preached and had been

baptized by him.  They had repented and believed in the Christ

before they learned that Jesus is the Christ.  Now that they knew

that Jesus is the Christ, they became disciples of Jesus.  At

least three of them became disciples of Jesus on that day and

possibly all four did.  If not on that day, all four eventually

did and all four of them would later become apostles.


II.  Philip called upon to follow Jesus


    Verses 43, which begins our text, follows up with the very

next day.  V.  43, "The day following Jesus would go forth into

Galilee..."  That is, Jesus decided to leave Betharbara where

John the Baptist was and return back to Galilee, from which He

had come.  He had made this trip to Judea where John was

baptizing in order to be baptized by John the Baptist.  It was in

that baptismal service that God revealed to John the Baptist that

Jesus is the Christ.  It was possibly on the day of Jesus'

baptism, or perhaps the next day, that John revealed to the

people that Jesus is the Christ.  That revelation set off a chain

reaction that led to the three, or perhaps four, disciples of

John becoming the first disciples of Jesus.  However, now Jesus

decides to return to Galilee and start up His ministry from


    (V. 43), "...and findeth Philip..."  Before returning to

Galilee Jesus looks for Philip and finds him.  Philip is also

from Galilee.  This same Philip had also been a disciple of John

the Baptist.  Under John's preaching he had professed to repent

of his sins, he professed to believe in the Christ which John

preached and he had been baptized by John.  He, likewise, would

also later be chosen as an apostle.

    (V. 43), "...and saith unto him, Follow me."  Jesus calls

upon Philip to travel with Him back to Galilee.  But actually,

Jesus did more than ask Philip to travel with Him back to

Galilee.  He asked Philip to become one of His disciples.  The

writer of the book does not tell us how Philip learned that Jesus

is the Christ.  He may have heard John the Baptist announce it.

He may have been told by Andrew, Peter or John.  Or, perhaps,

Jesus, Himself, may have told him.  But now he Knows and now he

is invited to become one of the small group of disciples of


    V. 44, "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and

Peter."  Bethsaida was a fishing village on the Sea of Galilee

near Capernaum.  This is the same place where Peter and Andrew

were born and reared and Philip was, no doubt, well acquainted

with them and with John and James also.

    Upon being invited to become a disciple of Jesus, Philip very

eagerly accepted and journeyed with Jesus back to Galilee.

Apparently they did not go directly to Bethsaida.  Nathanael was

from Cana of Galilee and they went to the town where Nathanael



III.  Philip witnessing to Nathanael


    V. 45, "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."  Nathanael is another

disciple of John the Baptist.  He is listed in the group of

twelve apostles by the name of Bartholomew.

    Once they arrived at Cana Philip did not waste time. He

searched for his friend, Nathanael, and immediately informed

Nathanael that they had found the Christ.  Nathanael was, no

doubt, overjoyed at that news.  He had heard about the Christ all

of his life.  He had placed his faith in the Christ under the

ministry of John the Baptist.  He had placed his faith in the

Christ without even knowing who the Christ is.  It must have been

a joy to him to learn that the Christ has now come on the scene

and that his friends had information who the Christ is.

    Philip informed Nathanael that Jesus of Nazareth is the

Christ.  It was at this point that Nathanael became skeptical.

He could easily believe that the Christ was on the scene, but it

was very difficult for him to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is

the Christ.

    V. 46, "And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing

come out of Nazareth?..."  It was not that Nathanael had anything

against Jesus.  Rather, he was skeptical because he just did not

believe that anything or any good person could come out of

Nazareth.  Nazareth was a very wicked village.  It had a bad

reputation.  It was really bad.  For Nathanael to hear someone

say that the Christ was from Nazareth was about like us hearing

that the Christ is from Bourbon Street in New Orleans or from the

ghettos of New York City or from the high crime areas of Houston

or Las Angeles or from the gay and lesbian area of San Francisco.

Nathanael was just not buying that bit of good news --- at least

not yet.

    (V. 46), "...Philip saith unto him, Come and see." Philip

said, in effect, "Don't take my word for it.  Come and see for

yourself."   That is the same answer that Jesus had given to the

two disciples who inquired where He lived.  That was somewhat the

same answer that Andrew had given the Apostle Peter.  It is the

kind of answer that we can use to good advantage when someone

expresses doubt that Jesus is the Christ.  Let the doubter come

and make a fair examination of the facts for himself.  Let him

come to Jesus and find out from Jesus if He is the Christ, the

Son of God, the Savior of the world.  If one will come to Jesus

and make an honest inquiry of Jesus, Himself, he will soon be

convinced that Jesus is the Christ.  Jesus is indeed the Son of

the Living God.  But, of course, if one is not willing to be

convinced, there is no way in the world that we convince him that

Jesus is for real.

    What I want you to notice is that Nathanael did go and see.

He took Philip up on his suggestion.  He immediately went with

Philip to Jesus.  He would go and see for himself if Jesus is the


    V. 47, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him,

Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"  Jesus did not

wait for Nathanael to make an inquiry of Him.  Jesus took the

initiative and made a startling statement to Nathanael. Jesus

said that Nathanael was one Israelite in whom there is no guile.

Now Jesus was not saying that Nathanael had no sin.  He was

saying that he had no guile.  There was no deceit, no fraud, no

hypocrisy in him.  Whatever he did or said was honest and

aboveboard.  This was quite a complement.  This is not the kind

of statement that could be said about a man until his inward

nature has been changed in the new birth.  It could not have been

made about Nathanael until he had experienced such a change.

When he repented of his sin and placed his faith in the coming

Christ under the preaching of John the Baptist he had been born

again.  His inward nature was changed.  He was now, indeed, a man

in whom there was no guile.


IV.  Nathanael's acceptance of Jesus as the Christ


    But the thing that startled Nathanael was the fact that this

man, Jesus, would make such a bold statement about him when, so

far as Nathanael knew, Jesus knew nothing about him.  That, of

course, was where he was wrong.  Jesus knew everything about him.

Jesus knows everything about everybody.

    V. 48, "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."  Before Philip

found him Nathanael had been sitting under a fig tree.  He may

have been sitting there resting from his labors.  He may have

been sitting there alone praying and meditating.  But Nathanael

knew that Jesus was nowhere around at the time he was sitting

under the fig tree.  There was no way that Jesus could have seen

him there by natural means.  He could have seen him only by

supernatural means.  It was now apparent to Nathanael that Jesus

is the Christ.

    V. 49, "Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou

art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel."  Nathanael now

believed.  It seems to me that he is just as much startled to

find that Jesus really is the Christ as he was at the statement

that Jesus made about him being a man of no guile.  Nathanael now

fully believed that Jesus is the Christ.  He joyfully believed

that Jesus is the Christ.


V.  The promise of wondrous things ahead


    V. 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."

    Let me say that there a lot of wonderful things in these

verses that I do not want to take the time to get into in detail.

Let me sum up these two verses merely by saying that every person

who puts his faith in Jesus as the Christ and trusts Jesus to

save him and cleanse him from his sin has a lot of wonderful

things ahead.  Jesus said that Nathanael would see heaven open.

I say to you that everyone who trusts in Jesus will see heaven

open.  Not only that, but he will enter into heaven.  He will

enter in and see heaven in all of its beauty.  He will see the

angels of God.  He will see the Holy City of God, the New

Jerusalem.  He will see the throne of God.  He will see all of

the wondrous things that heaven holds.  He will see it first

hand.  He will be there to see it in person.

    What is equally important, he will not be in hell to see that

place first hand.  He will not have go into the fires of hell and

experience the horrors of hell.

    In closing I want to point out a couple of things to you from

this text.  First of all I would have you to know that Jesus of

Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of men.  He

was born in human flesh.  He lived in human flesh without sin.

He died upon the cross in order to suffer the consequences of our

sin.  He arose from the grave.  He sits right now at the right

hand of God the Father in heaven.  Jesus is waiting for somebody

to call on Him and trust in Him for salvation.

    Secondly, I would have you to know that if you will trust in

Jesus Christ as your Savior, Jesus will save your soul.  Jesus

the Savior will save you and HE will keep you out of hell.  He

will take you to heaven.




    There may be somebody here this morning who is ready to come

to Him and place his faith in Him.  There may be somebody who is

ready to repent of his sins and have all your sins washed away.

That somebody may be you.  If so, come now.  There may be someone

who is already saved and you are ready to step out and really be

a follower of Jesus.  I am asking that you come while we have

this invitation hymn.