John 1:43-2:12

READ 1:43-51


What was unorthodox about Jesus calling Philip to follow him?

Jewish teachers would teach and people / disciples would attach themselves to the group. Jesus however was pro-active in picking his disciples.


Philip follows Andrews example and goes to find his friend Nathanael. Who does he say has found the one written about?

He uses the word ‘We’ – he is already considering himself part of and associated with this fledging group of disciples – we have found him.


Why is Nathanael skeptical about a man from Nazareth?

Nazareth is not mentioned anywhere in the OT scriptures – it has no prophetic or historic significance as to the Messiah or even to any prophet.


Why don’t they say “Jesus from Bethlehem?”

Because they probably don’t know yet that Jesus was born in Bethlehem but had lived in Nazareth.


What is profound about Philips response – Come and See

It is the perfect evangelistic response. Philip does not engage in an argument over the issue of Nazareth or whether Jesus is truthful etc, he simply says “Come and See” – come and check it out for yourself.


It is still the greatest response in evangelism – “I don’t believe it” – “then come and see – check it out for yourself – pray to God, read the scripture, ask Christ through his Holy Spirit to meet with you.” 


Why on earth does Jesus call Nathanael a true Israelite and say he is without deceit?

Nathanael was WILLING to come and check out the claim. He was a man seeking God – wanting to see if this was really from God. He was not like Jacob who became Israel, a deceiver – Nathanael wanted to know and was willing to come and see.


What is it that causes Nathanael to acknowledge who Jesus is?

Jesus displays some supernatural knowledge about Nathanael. Firstly Jesus has said that he was a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit – and Nathanael response that is “How do you know me?”  And then Jesus says “I saw you under the fig tree.” 


Now, I am going to read into the text a little, but I think that something significant happened to Nathanael under that fig tree – it may have been a spiritual experience, or maybe Nathanael prayed something, maybe he had asked God to make him a true Israelite, one without deceit – and then he goes to Jesus and Jesus speaks right into that situation and immediately Nathanael says “You are the son of God you are the king of Israel.”


How would you sum up Jesus’ response to Nathanael?

Jesus does not say, “you clever boy” or “Wow, you are quick off the mark.” Jesus response is effectively “you have a long way to go.” There is more to come. Even Nathanael’s confession is not full – he does not know the full scale of who Jesus is or his works or his mission or what is going to be asked of them as disciples. 


And they will see even greater things – they will see miracles and healings and the dead raised. Jesus tells them that they will heaven open. For Jewish Apocolyptic preachers, the greatest desire was to see heaven open – and of course angels ascending and descending refers back to Jacob and his vision at Bethel. 


What is Jesus telling the disciples?

Jesus will be place of much greater divine revelation than given at any other occasion in the OT – Jesus is the very culmination of all of God’s revelatory expressions.


The disciples are beginning their journey with Jesus. All the those in chap 1 who came to follow Jesus did so because of someone else’s human witness – it sets the stage for what is to come  – the revealing to the disciples and to Israel the true nature of this Lamb of God that is to take away the sin of the world.


And for us it challenges us to point beyond ourselves to jesus – to say to people “Come and See.”


READ 2:1-12


The third day after the events with Nathanael – Jesus was at a wedding in Cana – Cana being around 10 miles northeast from Nazarath. 


Why would Jesus’ mother want to get involved with a catering issue at a wedding? 

It is very possible that this was a wedding of a close friend or even distant relative of Jesus – John lists the guests as Jesus’ mother, Jesus and his disciples.


To run out of wine was a great faux par – weddings would last a week and hospitality was required and the groom was in charge of this.


Jesus’ mother may have been trying to help a friend or relative.


How would you describe Jesus’ response. What  might Jesus mean by “my time has not yet come?”

Jesus responds in a formal, although not rude manner – it would be like me saying Madam.


What does wine symbolize in scripture?

Amos 9:13-14 – 13 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
       “when the reaper will be overtaken by the one who plows
       and the planter by the one treading grapes.
       New wine will drip from the mountains
       and flow from all the hills,

    14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. [a]
       “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
       They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
       they will make gardens and eat their fruit.

Joel 3:18 – “In that day the mountains will drip new wine,
       and the hills will flow with milk;
       all the ravines of Judah will run with water.
       A fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house
       and will water the valley of acacias.

Luke 22:18 – 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”


Zec 9:15


Wine is a symbol of the new kingdom.

 What about weddings?  Does scripture talk about the significance of a wedding?


Rev 19:7 – Let us rejoice and be glad
       and give him glory!
       For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
       and his bride has made herself ready.

Rev 19:9 – 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”


My suggestion is that when Jesus says “My time has not yet come” he is speaking both about his impending ministry but also he is talking about the fact that he is not the groom, yet but there will be a time when it will be his wedding – the wedding of the lamb with the church and he will provide the wine – in abundance – the very best wine.


Hence Jesus reveals, right at the beginning, his glory – his future.


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