Rabbi - That is, Teacher! and so this word should be translated.
Thou art the Son of God - The promised Messiah.
Thou art the King of Israel - The real descendant of David, who art to sit on that spiritual throne of which the throne of David was the type.
Rabbi - Master. Applied appropriately to Jesus, and to no one else, Matthew 23:10.
The Son of God - By this title he doubtless meant that he was the Messiah. His conscience told him that he had judged right of his character, and that therefore he must know the heart and the desires of the mind. If so, he could not be a mere man, but must be the long-expected Messiah.
The King of Israel - This was one of the titles by which the Messiah was expected, and this was the title which was affixed to his cross, John 19:18. This case of Nathanael John adduces as another evidence that Jesus was the Christ. The great object he had in view in writing this gospel was to collect the evidence that he was the Messiah, John 20:31. A case, therefore, where Jesus searched the heart, and where his knowledge of the heart convinced a pious Jew that he was the Christ, is very properly adduced as important testimony.
“He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” DA 139.1
If John and Andrew had possessed the unbelieving spirit of the priests and rulers, they would not have been found as learners at the feet of Jesus. They would have come to Him as critics, to judge His words. Many thus close the door to the most precious opportunities. But not so did these first disciples. They had responded to the Holy Spirit's call in the preaching of John the Baptist. Now they recognized the voice of the heavenly Teacher. To them the words of Jesus were full of freshness and truth and beauty. A divine illumination was shed upon the teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures. The many-sided themes of truth stood out in new light. DA 139.2
It is contrition and faith and love that enable the soul to receive wisdom from heaven. Faith working by love is the key of knowledge, and everyone that loveth “knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7. DA 139.3Read in context »
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15. DA 231.1
The Messiah's coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal. DA 231.2Read in context »
These disciples had been for some time associated with Jesus in active labor. John and James, Andrew and Peter, with Philip, Nathanael, and Matthew, had been more closely connected with Him than the others, and had witnessed more of His miracles. Peter, James, and John stood in still nearer relationship to Him. They were almost constantly with Him, witnessing His miracles, and hearing His words. John pressed into still closer intimacy with Jesus, so that he is distinguished as the one whom Jesus loved. The Saviour loved them all, but John's was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the child's confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviour's deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to His people. DA 292.1
At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow Me.” Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God. Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe. Although he had joined himself to Christ, yet his announcement of Him to Nathanael shows that he was not fully convinced of the divinity of Jesus. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45. Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip's lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip's answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:5, 7. Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Saviour, but he went to tell Andrew. Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith. When Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” the Saviour answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.... If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” From Philip came the response of unbelief: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” John 14:5-8. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus. DA 292.2
In happy contrast to Philip's unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers. DA 293.1Read in context »
Tact Required to Break Down Prejudice—Nathanael was praying to know whether this was indeed the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. While he continued to pray, one of those who had been brought to Christ, Philip by name, called to him and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Notice how quickly prejudice arises. Nathanael says, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip knew the strong prejudice that existed in the minds of many against Nazareth, and he did not try to argue with him, for fear of raising his combativeness, but simply said, “Come and see.” Ev 446.1
Here is a lesson for all our ministers, colporteurs, and missionary workers. When you meet those, who, like Nathanael, are prejudiced against the truth, do not urge your peculiar views too strongly. Talk with them at first of subjects upon which you can agree. Bow with them in prayer, and in humble faith present your petitions at the throne of grace. Both you and they will be brought into a closer connection with heaven, prejudice will be weakened, and it will be easier to reach the heart.—Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 149 (1886). Ev 446.2Read in context »
Christ's Method Brings True Success—Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”—The Ministry of Healing, 143. WM 60.1
This was the way the Christian Church was established. Christ first selected a few persons and bade them follow Him. They then went in search of their relatives and acquaintances, and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others.—The Review and Herald, December 8, 1885. WM 60.2
The Divine Example of Personal Evangelism—Jesus came in personal contact with men. He did not stand aloof and apart from those who needed His help. He entered the homes of men, comforted the mourner, healed the sick, aroused the careless, and went about doing good. And if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we must do as He did. We must give men the same kind of help that He gave.—The Review and Herald, April 24, 1888. WM 60.3Read in context »
There is a large field open before the self-supporting gospel worker. Many may gain valuable experiences in ministry while toiling a portion of the time at some form of manual labor, and by this method strong workers may be developed for important service in needy fields.—The Acts of the Apostles, 355. WM 64.1
Go in the Spirit That Endued Paul—Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray with them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the Word of God to their darkened minds. Keep watching as he who must render an account for the souls of men, and make the most of the privileges that God gives you of laboring with Him in His moral vineyard. WM 64.2
Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you “by all means may save some.” We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house, pleading with tears and teaching “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888. WM 64.3Read in context »
There is yet much precious truth to be revealed to the people in this time of peril and darkness, but it is Satan's determined purpose to prevent the light of truth from shining into the hearts of men. If we would have the light that has been provided for us, we should show our desire for it by diligently searching the word of God. Precious truths that have long been in obscurity are to be revealed in a light that will make manifest their sacred worth; for God will glorify His word, that it may appear in a light in which we have never before beheld it. But those who profess to love the truth must put to the stretch their powers, that they may comprehend the deep things of the word, that God may be glorified and His people may be blessed and enlightened. With humble hearts, subdued by the grace of God, you should come to the task of searching the Scriptures, prepared to accept every ray of divine light, and to walk in the way of holiness. CSW 25.1
In searching the Scriptures you are not to endeavor to interpret their utterances so as to agree with your preconceived ideas, but come as a learner to understand the foundation principles of the faith of Christ. With eager interest, with fervent prayer, come to the word of God, that you may know what is truth, manifesting the same spirit as did Nathanael when he earnestly besought the Lord that he might know the truth. Light will come to every earnest seeker for truth, as it came to Nathanael. Jesus saw him as he bowed in prayer under the fig tree, and while he was still petitioning for light, the messenger came to call him, and to lead him to the Source of all light. CSW 25.2Read in context »
Nathanael heard John as he pointed to the Saviour and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)! Nathanael looked at Jesus, but he was disappointed in the appearance of the world's Redeemer. Could He who bore the marks of toil and poverty be the Messiah? Jesus was a worker; He had toiled with humble workingmen, and Nathanael went away. But he did not form his opinion decidedly as to what the character of Jesus was. He knelt down under a fig tree, inquiring of God if indeed this man was the Messiah. While he was there, Philip came and said, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” But the word “Nazareth” again aroused his unbelief, and he said, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” He was full of prejudice, but Philip did not seek to combat his prejudice; he simply said, “Come and see.” When Nathanael came into the presence of Jesus, Jesus said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael was amazed. He said, “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” (John 1:45, 46, 47, 48). 1SM 414.1
Would it not be well for us to go under the fig tree to plead with God as to what is truth? Would not the eye of God be upon us as it was upon Nathanael? Nathanael believed on the Lord, and exclaimed, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 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” (John 1:49-51). 1SM 415.1Read in context »
Those who become interested have to meet sophistry and misrepresentation from popular ministers, and they know not how to answer these things. The truth presented by the living preacher should be published in as compact a form as possible, and circulated widely. As far as practicable, let the important discourses given at our camp meetings be published in the newspapers. Thus the truth which was placed before a limited number may find access to many minds. And where the truth has been misrepresented, the people will have an opportunity of knowing just what the minister said. 6T 37.1
Put your light on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house. If the truth has been given to us, we are to make it so plain to others that the honest in heart may recognize it and rejoice in its bright rays. 6T 37.2
Nathanael prayed that he might know whether or not the One announced by John the Baptist as the Messiah was indeed the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. While he was laying his perplexities before God and asking for light, Philip called him, and in earnest, joyful tones exclaimed: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45. 6T 37.3Read in context »
Let those who desire to work for God begin at home, in their own household, in their own neighborhood, among their own friends. Here they will find a favorable missionary field. This home missionary work is a test, revealing their ability or inability for service in a wider field. 6T 428.1
The case of Philip and Nathanael is an example of true home missionary work. Philip had seen Jesus and was convinced that He was the Messiah. In his joy he wished his friends also to know the good news. He desired that the truth which had brought such comfort to him should be shared by Nathanael. True grace in the heart will always reveal its presence by diffusing itself. Philip went in search of Nathanael, and as he called, Nathanael answered from his place of prayer under the fig tree. Nathanael had not had the privilege of listening to the words of Jesus, but he was being drawn toward Him in spirit. He longed for light, and was at that moment sincerely praying for it. Philip with joy exclaimed: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.” John 1:45. At Philip's invitation Nathanael sought and found the Saviour, and in his turn joined in the work of winning souls for Christ. 6T 428.2Read in context »