John 1:49

49 Nathanael answered him, 1"Rabbi, 2you are the Son of God! You are the 3King of Israel!"

John 1:49 Meaning and Commentary

John 1:49

Nathanael answered and saith unto him
Being fully convinced of his omniscience by these instances:

that is, master, as it is interpreted in ( John 1:38 ) , and is not here, because it is there:

thou art the Son of God;
not by creation, for this would be to say no more of him, than may be said of every man; nor by adoption, for in that sense Nathanael himself was a Son of God, and many others; nor on account of his wonderful incarnation, which, it is very likely, at this time Nathanael knew nothing of; nor by reason of his resurrection from the dead, which, as yet, was not, and still less might be known by this person; nor because of his office, as Mediator, for this is expressed in the next clause; but by nature, as being of the same essence, and possessed of the same perfections God is; and of which he was convinced by the instances he gave of his omniscience; for it was from hence, and no other consideration, that he concludes him to be the Son of God: wherefore this phrase must be understood of him, not as Mediator, but as a divine person; as the natural, essential, and eternal Son of God; and who is truly and properly God: he adds,

thou art the King of Israel;
having in view, no doubt, the passage in ( Psalms 2:6 Psalms 2:7 ) , where the characters of Son of God, and King of Zion, meet in the same person: not King of Israel, in a literal sense; though he was the son of David, and a descendant of his in a right line, and was of the royal line, and had a legal right to the throne of Israel; and Nathanael might have a view to this, being tinctured with the common national prejudice, that the Messiah would be a temporal prince: but his kingdom is not of this world; nor with observation; but is spiritual; and he is a King over Israel in a spiritual sense, even of saints, whether Jews or Gentiles: whom he conquers by his power, and rules in their hearts by his Spirit, and grace; and protects, and defends them from all their enemies.

John 1:49 In-Context

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!"
48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
50 Jesus answered 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, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Cross References 3

  • 1. See ver. 38
  • 2. [John 6:69; John 11:27; John 20:28]
  • 3. John 12:13; Zephaniah 3:15; Matthew 27:11, 42; [Zechariah 9:9]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.