PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

John 1

SUMMARY.--The Word Made Flesh. The Witness of John. John's Disciples Pointed to Christ. The Lord Calls His First Disciples. An Israelite Indeed.

      28. These things were done in Bethabara. The Revision says Bethany, a village whose site is now unknown, on the east bank of the Jordan. Bethabara means "the house of the ford."

      29. The next day John seeth Jesus. Here Jesus first appears, in person, in John's account, who omits all the details given by Matthew and Luke of his earlier life. He was now thirty years old, and came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John. This interview was after the baptism ( verse 33 ), and probably after the Temptation. Behold the Lamb of God. Innocent like the lamb, to be offered as a lamb, "led as a lamb to the slaughter" ( Isa. 53:7 ). The lamb was commonly used as a sin offering ( Lev. 4:32 ), and when John points to Jesus as the Lamb of God he can only mean that God had provided him as a sacrificial offering. The sin of the world. Not of Jews only, but of Gentiles. John points to Jesus as the world's Savior.

      30. This is he of whom I said. See verse 27 . Was before. Existed before I was born.

      31. I knew him not. Knew not that God had chosen him to be the Christ. He knew, however, that he should be manifested in some way through his baptism.

      32-34. I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove. See Matt. 3:16 , and notes. It was revealed to John that the Christ would thus be revealed. Indeed it was the anointing of the Spirit that made Jesus the Anointed, the Christ.

      35. Again the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples. In verses 19-28 , the account is given of the visit of the priests and Levites, sent by the Sanhedrim to John. "The next day" after this, John sees Jesus and points him out as the Lamb of God, giving a discourse of which, in verses 19-34 , we have a synopsis. On the "next day" after this, the third day after the deputation of the Sanhedrim, and the second after the return of Jesus from the wilderness, Jesus stood with two of his disciples. One of these two, we learn from verse 40 , was Andrew; the other, we have reason to believe, was John, the apostle.

      36. Behold the Lamb of God! On the preceding day John had recognized Jesus in a public discourse as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Now he personally points the disciples to him.

      38. Rabbi. A term meaning teacher, or master. Where dwellest thou? These disciples had followed at the bidding of John. Their question implies a desire to be in the company of Jesus.

      39. It was about the tenth hour. Counting from six o'clock, the first hour among the Jews, the tenth hour would be four P. M.

      40, 41. One of the two . . . was Andrew. Afterwards an apostle. He has the honor of being one of the first two disciples of Jesus. Findeth his own brother Simon. Simon Peter. In true missionary spirit Andrew at once and first sought his own brother. We have found the Messias. The Christ promised by the prophets. Messiah is the Hebrew word meaning the same as Christ.

      42. Thou shalt be called Cephas. A Hebrew word meaning stone. Peter is the Greek form.

      43. Findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. This is the first recorded instance of the Savior calling a disciple to follow him. Philip, it must be borne in mind, is not Philip, "one of the seven," but "one of the Twelve," a citizen of Bethsaida of Galilee, and a fellow-townsman of Andrew and Peter.

      45. Philip findeth Nathanael. As we learn from John 21:2 , Nathanael was a Galilean, his home being at "Cana in Galilee." His name only occurs in these two places. He is supposed to have been one of the Twelve, the same one mentioned in the other Gospels Matthew 10:3 Mk 3:18 Luke 6:14 as Bartholomew, which means "son of Tolmai." The use of the name in John 21:2 favors this hypothesis. We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write. There was only one to whom this could refer, "The prophet like unto Moses," the Messiah; and when Philip names Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael is at once skeptical whether the Messiah could come out of Nazareth, an insignificant and despised place.

      46. Come and see. That is the best answer to the skeptic. Bring him to Christ, let him consider him, and what he has done for mankind. The strongest proof that Jesus is the Christ is Jesus himself.

      48. Whence knowest thou me? Nathanael, who had never met Jesus before, was surprised to hear himself spoken of as one known. When thou wast under the fig tree. There was something about this answer that filled Nathanael with astonishment. Under the shade and shelter of the fig tree he had some rare experience that is not recorded, and that he supposed unknown to man. That Jesus knew of it and read his soul startled him and dissipated his unbelief.

      49. Thou art the Son of God; the King of Israel. Philip had said, "Jesus, the son of Joseph," as he supposed, but Nathanael, convinced, declared him the Son of God. This is the first confession of the divinity of Jesus.

      51. Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending. Jacob, old Israel, in his dream at Bethel, saw the ladder that reached to heaven with the angels upon it ( Gen. 28:12 ). Christ is that ladder, the way from earth to heaven, the way heaven sends messages to the world and the way we must go to reach it. Nathanael would be permitted to see that Jesus was the Mediator, that through him the Father speaks to man; that through him there is intercommunication between earth and heaven.

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