John 1:45-51

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.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

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.

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.

50 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.

51 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.

Philip, at this point, may not have heard of Christ’s virgin birth. He just knew that He was the promised Messiah/King.

Nathanael = gift of God

Moses in the Law — The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him (Deuteronomy 18:15-18).

Nazareth — insignificant village. The people were called “Am-horatzin” (ignorant country people) But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching (Mark 6:4-6).

son of Joseph — as commonly thought. And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli (Luke 3:23).

When Nathanael raised objections, Philip didn’t argue. He just said, “come and see.” When Nathanael, without guile, was confronted by Christ, he immediately believed.

Jesus knew Nathanael and knew about him, demonstrating His omniscience and omnipresence.

fig tree — one of the symbols of the Israelites. Sitting under the fig tree is a common Jewish metaphor for studying Scripture.

Jesus accepted the titles Son of God and King of Israel at the very start of His ministry. Yet have I set My king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee (Psalm 2:6-7).

angels descending — Jesus is the ladder from heaven to earth. To be fulfilled at His second coming. It’s a reference to Jacob’s ladder in Genesis 28.

no guile — genuine, sincere, without deceit or falsehood. Literally, without a trap

Son of Man — Christ’s identity as a human and His Messianic title from Daniel 7:14 — I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.

In the book of John, only seven people realized Christ’s Deity.

  1. John the Baptist (1:34)

  2. Nathanael (1:49)

  3. Peter (6:69)

  4. Jesus Himself (10:36)

  5. Martha (11:27)

  6. Thomas (20:28)

  7. John (20:31)

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