The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 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.”
Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Phillip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
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.”
Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel!”
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.” 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.” (John 1:43-51, NASB)
The Christ is the Seeker of His disciples as we see here for “He found Philip.” We never truly seek Him first. He is always the initiator and we are the responders. The disciple is one who responds to the command of Jesus and is submitted to His will as the Holy Spirit guides. Once again we see being poor in spirit is about submission (it is not about me, it is about Him).
The call of Jesus is made with “Follow Me.” This follow Me meant to leave all and follow Him everywhere. As was mentioned earlier, if one wishes discipling, when the rabbi calls, one follows. The first century disciple was committed to his rabbi and went with him everywhere in order to see how the rabbi lived his life; it was practical learning. In the same way the Twelve were called to live with the Christ and experience life and ministry daily. The disciple follows the Master all the time. It is a choice we need to make daily, moment to moment, to follow Him.
We see in this passage Philip knew the Old Testament well because he recognizes Jesus as the Messiah from his understanding of the Scriptures. The disciple knows the Word of God and will use it to bring glory to the kingdom of heaven. Get to know His Word.
Just as Andrew introduces Peter to Jesus, Philip brings Nathaniel to the Christ. The excitement is seen in this passage when Philip hurriedly goes to Nathanael and proclaims that he has found the Messiah. The disciple is excited about his time with Jesus and wants to share his experience with others.
Jesus knew Nathaniel first. Once again we see that God is the initiator. He eagerly wants a relationship with you and seeks you out to be His disciple. How are you going to respond to this call? A disciple responds to the call from his Rabbi by following Him.
We note that Nathanael recognizes the Christ to be all He is. A disciple is one who proclaims the realities of the King of Kings to a world in need of a King, Savior, and Master.
Jesus promises Nathanael will see even greater things than what he has observed on this day. Each day brings something new in a walk with the Rabbi. The disciple is one who looks forward to learning and experiencing the things of the kingdom.
Begin to desire, starting today and going forward, to be fully responsive to His daily lessons in discipleship by submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit.