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Comments on John 1:37-51

From John: The book about Life, by Matthew R. Freije

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.


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1:37-51

Jesus meets the men who became His disciples. Observe the words and phrases, boldfaced below for emphasis, that express invitations or decisions to meet Jesus, to observe Him, and to follow Him:

John 1:37-51 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?" 39 He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter). 43 The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, "Follow Me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to 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 and said to 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 and said to him, "Because I said to you that 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 the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Johnís purpose in writing John was to persuade the readers to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and to receive Life from Him:

John 20:31 these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Therefore, consider 1:37-51 an invitation extended to you: Read on! Observe Jesus. Come and see!

Additional comments on 1:51:

Son of Man is the name that links Jesus to the earth and to His mission. It emphasizes His humanity while on earth, His suffering and death, and His future reign as King (Ryrie).

The angels of God ascending and descending of the Son on Man is a symbol of Jesus providing access to God for man. Jesus was claiming to be the one through whom God would fulfill His promise to Abraham: "in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen 28:14). The ladder resembles the picture given to Jacob (Isaacís son; Abrahamís grandson) in a dream:

Gen 28:12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Jesus claimed to be the only way to God the Father: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (Jn 14:6).

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5).

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