John 1:44
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.
Sermons
Andrew and JohnT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 1:35-51
John and JesusJohn 1:35-51
Small BeginningsA. F. Schauffler.John 1:35-51
The Apostle AndrewD. Thomas, D. D.John 1:35-51
The Beginnings of the Christian ChurchBishop Ryle.John 1:35-51
The Early DisciplesSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 1:35-51
The First DiscipleA. Raleigh, D. D.John 1:35-51
The First Disciples, or Sons of the LightT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 1:35-51
The First Five DisciplesC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:35-51
The First Five DisciplesJ. Spence, D. D.John 1:35-51
The First Utterances of the WordJ. W. Burn.John 1:35-51
The Law of Christian IncreaseP. H. Hoge.John 1:35-51
The Redeemer Choosing DisciplesSchleiermacher.John 1:35-51
The Soul Sought by Christ, and Seeking HimBp. Huntington.John 1:35-51
Three Ways to the LordK. Gerok, D. D.John 1:35-51
Delaying Christian ProfessionHomiletic MonthlyJohn 1:43-44
Moral ImitationD. Thomas, D. D.John 1:43-44
The Call of St. PhilipP. B. Power, M. A.John 1:43-44
The Method of Following ChristH. G. Trumbull, D. D.John 1:43-44
The Motive for Following ChristJohn 1:43-44
Bringing Companions to ChristJohn 1:44-51
Finding Christ the Great TreasureT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.John 1:44-51
How to Learn the Excellence of ChristT. Islip.John 1:44-51
Judge not a Man by His SurroundingsG. F. Green.John 1:44-51
NathanaelD. Thomas, D. D.John 1:44-51
NathanaelJ. Hambleton, M. A.John 1:44-51
NathanaelW. Jay.John 1:44-51
Nathanael and BartholomewJohn N. Norton.John 1:44-51
Nathanael's PrejudiceA. Maclaren, D. D.John 1:44-51
Nathanael's Prejudice and ConfirmationA. Beith, D. D.John 1:44-51
Philip and NathanaelA. Maclaren, D. D.John 1:44-51
Philip and NathanaelC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:44-51
Philip and NathanaelBp. Ryle.John 1:44-51
Philip and NathanaelA. Beith, D. D.John 1:44-51
Philip and NathanaelH. Melvill, B. D.John 1:44-51
Testimony BearingH. O. Mackey.John 1:44-51
The Character of NathanaelJ. Leifchild, D. D.John 1:44-51
The Communicativeness of the GospelDr. Lake.John 1:44-51
The Power of PrejudiceJohn N. Norton.John 1:44-51
The Power of PrejudiceH. G. Trumbull, D. D.John 1:44-51
The Preaching of PhilipLange.John 1:44-51
The Proverbial Disrepute of NazarethS. S. TimesJohn 1:44-51
We have FoundPascal.John 1:44-51
Jesus asks Andrew, "What seek ye?" and the question soon shows fruit in Andrew seeking out his own brother Simon. The New Testament deals with spiritual things, but that does not prevent it from being full of natural touches. What Andrew did is just the very thing which in like circumstances we might have been expected to do. And surely it is the most reasonable of conjectures that Andrew, who began by bringing his own brother, must have been the bringer also of many who were mere strangers. Interest in natural kinsmen would soon be merged in the wider interest a Christian must feel in humanity at large. Peter was Andrew's first gift to Jesus, and he may have been the easiest. To bring a human being into real, loving contact with Jesus is not an easy thing; but what a service, what a blessing and a joy, to every one concerned!

I. Andrew was able to bring Peter to Jesus because HE HAD FIRST OF ALL BEEN BROUGHT HIMSELF. Andrew had first of all been himself the subject of spiritual illumination. God must have shined in his heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He had been brought to Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. The acquaintance had been very short, but a great deal may be done in a short time when the human heart has been getting ready to meet with Christ, when there is perfect openness and simplicity of mind - truth on one side and an eager seeker after it on the other. To get other people as far as Peter, we must first of all have got as far as Andrew ourselves. How should the blind lead the blind? We must not wait for an Andrew. God has his own agency for us. He may send some John the Baptist, saving, "Behold!" to us. We must consider well the obstacles in our way to Jesus, which none can remove but ourselves - procrastination, bosom sins, spiritual indolence, neglect 'of the Scriptures.

II. CONSIDER WHO IT WAS THAT ANDREW BROUGHT. his own brother Simon. So natural brotherhood is distinguished from that spiritual brotherhood which afterwards sprang into existence as regenerated believers in Christ felt the strong tie binding them together. What brother ought not to be to brother, and yet what he may very easily become, is shown from Cain and Abel, and Joseph and his brethren. What brother ought to be to brother is shown in this seeking of Simon by Andrew. Great opportunities are given by natural brotherhood, mutually cherished. Give every good thing in nature a chance to become also a minister of grace.

III. CONSIDER WHAT ANDREW SAID TO PETER. "We have found the Messiah." This is as much good news for us as it was for Peter. What Andrew said he said at first, after a very brief acquaintance; but he would go on saying it all the more as day after day opened up the riches of Messiah's mission and power. Observe the plural form of the announcement. The other disciple agreed with Andrew in his judgment. Look out for those and listen to them who bear the same message as Andrew, though not in quite the same form. We have words and acts of Jesus constantly forced on our attention. If we cannot be brought to Jesus, Jesus is brought to us. All bringing of men to Jesus must be preceded, more or less, by bringing of Jesus to men. Andrew must have brought such a vivid and powerful account of his talk with Jesus as would amount practically tea bringing of Jesus. - Y.







Philip findeth Nathanael.
It is a melancholy fact that the festival of this gentle and guileless apostle should be for ever associated with the treachery and malice of the cold.blooded massacre in France in 1572.

(John N. Norton.)

I. HIS EFFORTS AS A GENUINE TRUTH SEEKER.

1. He hearkens to information concerning the truth.

2. He renounces a prejudice against the truth.

3. He prosecutes an inquiry in search of truth. In this he is infiuenced —

(1)By the words of Philip.

(2)He is greeted by Christ.

(3)He is struck by conviction.

II. HIS SUCCESS AS A GENUINE TRUTH SEEKER. He found in Christ —

1. A Divine Teacher.

2. A Divine King.

III. HIS BLESSEDNESS AS A GENUINE TRUTH SEEKER.

1. He saw great things.

2. He would see greater.

(1)A new universe.

(2)A new class of intelligences.

(3)A new order of ministry.

(4)A new centre of attraction.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. IN A STATE OF PREJUDICE.

1. Philip went to him in the fulness of his heart, expecting that he would be as glad to hear as he was to tell.

2. But Nathanael receives the announcement with coldness. He had formed an ill opinion of the place, and therefore of all connected with it.

3. Prejudice is very common, and in religious matters is very pernicious, and men should be on their guard against it. It may prevent them receiving salvation.

4. How should we treat it? As Philip did — "Come and see." Apply this to Bible doctrines, experimental religion, foreign missions. This only will dispel prejudice.

II. AN ISRAELITE INDEED IN WHOM IS NO GUILE. Nathanael dropped his prejudice and acted as a man of candour. He was sincere, not sinless. How common is insincerity in word and act! How beautiful is fair transparency of character, after the image of Christ, in whom was no guile! Nathanael was also sincere towards God. Not that this must stand alone; it must qualify other graces: sincere repentance, faith, love, etc. This sincerity is uncommon. Witness the easy way in which men confess themselves miserable sinners.

III. A CONFESSOR OF CHRIST.

1. Making his confession, which was —

(1)Well grounded.

(2)Ample.

2. Encouraged by Christ. Christ would encourage all young converts by showing them good things to come.

(J. Hambleton, M. A.)

It was necessary that our Lord should have a certain number constantly associated with Him. He might have had many; He chose few. He might have had those of the highest classes; He chose from the humblest. As when iron is touched by the loadstone it draws other iron after it, so when Philip was touched by Christ, he seeks to draw his friend. Nathanael was a cautious, incredulous man, but he was sincere. Notice —

I. SINCERITY IN A PROFESSION OF RELIGION IS ESSENTIAL TO HAPPINESS AND SAFETY. Christ distinguished Nathanael from other nations and from his own. He had the real thing as well as the appearance. Our Lord, therefore, takes his sincerity under His own discipline, and by thus commending, it shows that it is the grand fundamental thing in religion. You are called Christians, but have you that which the name imports? In Nathanael there was no deceit, no wish to impose upon himself and others. This was evidenced by his secret devotion under the fig-tree. Examine what you are in secret, for then you are before God. Be a real Christian, not one in show.

II. TRUE SAVING GRACE IS CONSISTENT WITH GREAT IMPERFECTION IN KNOWLEDGE. Nathanael needed information. It was requisite that he should go and see, which, faithful to the light he had, he did.

1. The first effect of knowledge is the discovery of our ignorance. So Nathanael was tractable and teachable. We are not to conclude against the possession of true saving knowledge because it is small, if it possesses the soul.

2. Proficient Christians should learn from this how to regulate their conduct towards the immature. We must remember that grace works gradually. Do not force the great doctrines of Christianity on young converts.

III. CHRIST KNOWS ALL, AND WILL ONE DAY TELL US OF ALL THAT WE HAVE DONE IN SECRET.

1. Our secret sins.

2. Our secret penitence.

3. Our secret prayers.

4. Our secret charities.

IV. A READINESS TO BELIEVE UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE IS VERY PLEASING TO CHRIST, AND WILL BE REWARDED WITH GREATER COMMUNICATIONS.

(J. Leifchild, D. D.)

I. THE ADVANTAGES OF OCCASIONAL SOLITUDE. It is alone —

1. That we disengage ourselves from the world.

2. That we obtain a knowledge of ourselves.

3. That we can be familiar with God.

II. How familiar OUR SAVIOUR IS WITH OUR MOST PRIVATE CONCERNS.

1. To know all persons and things infallibly is the prerogative of God only.

2. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."

3. Let the righteous rejoice, and the brokenhearted penitent be encouraged.

III. SINCERITY IN RELIGION IS A QUALITY WHICH OUR SAVIOUR CALLS UPON US TO ADMIRE.

1. Because of its rarity.

2. Because of its excellence.

IV. THERE MAY BE TRUE GRACE WHERE THERE IS AT PRESENT LITTLE LIGHT.

1. Let us not, then, conclude that a man is a stranger to grace because he is unable to go all our lengths in sentiment.

2. Nor let us be anxious to force upon him doctrines he is not prepared to receive.

V. WHERE GRACE IS REAL IT WILL IN DUE TIME BE ATTENDED WITH CLEARER-LIGHT.

(W. Jay.)

I. NATHANAEL'S PREJUDICE EXPRESSED, AND PHILIP'S REPLY.

1. Nathanael looking for the Messiah, but had the prophecy of Bethlehem in his mind. Hence his difficulty, and his unreasonable imputation of the character of Nazareth to Christ. The objection of the Samaritan woman was that He was a Jew, others that He was a carpenter, etc. But these not more unreasonable than modern objections.

2. Philip's reply was such as became a disciple. Let Nathanael know Christ as he knew Him, and all objections would be removed.

II. THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS TO NATHANAEL'S CHARACTER. Nathanael's prejudice did not prevent his taking Philip's advice. He approaches, and before he or Philip open their lips, Christ's testimony is given.

1. An Israelite indeed is genuine, in the spirit, not in the letter.

2. In whom is no guile, because an Israelite indeed; no Judas, no dissembler.

III. NATHANAEL'S INQUIRY INTO THE SOURCE OF CHRIST'S KNOWLEDGE OF HIM, AND THE ANSWER. The inquiry evidenced Nathanael's sincerity. Christ's reply met Nathanael's state of mind. No minister is ever first with those who are called: Jesus has been working in them previously. As the trees of Eden could not hide Adam, neither could the fig-tree hide Nathanael from his Lord.

IV. NATHANAEL'S CONVICTION AND CONFESSION OF JESUS.

1. Rabbi, the promised prophet.

2. The Son of God.

3. The King of Israel. Notice the satisfactoriness of this testimony.

V. CHRIST'S EXPRESSED SATISFACTION, AND HIS PROMISE OF FUTURE CONFIRMATION TO BE GIVEN TO HIS DISCIPLES. Christ had already given Nathaniel an evidence of His glory in His omnipotence, but there were greater things in store: the things which were to prove Christ to be the Son of God with power.

(A. Beith, D. D.)

I. INFINITELY DIFFICULT. The connection of the name of the Messiah, of whom Moses and the prophets did write, with Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

II. PERFECTLY DECIDED. We have found Him.

III. IRRESISTIBLY CONFIRMED. Come and see.

(Lange.)

In Golconda, if a slave find a diamond of extraordinary value, he takes it up to the Government, and the Government gives him his liberty. If some of those who are this morning the slaves of sin, while they are seeking for God, would find this Pearl of great price, the hour of their emancipation would come, and the King would make proclamation from the throne, saying, "Go free! You have found the Pearl! Be one of My jewels!"

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

The bee-hunter in America puts a piece of honeycomb into a box, and catches a bee. He then covers the box, and very soon the bee fills himself with the honey. Being let loose, it finds its way home, and in a little time returns, but not alone. He brings his companions with him, and in turn they bring their companions, till the box is filled with a full swarm of bees. Let every Sunday scholar, and every attendant at a Christian church, do likewise. If they have tasted that Word which is sweeter than honey, let them bring their companions and neighbours with them, till the school and the church be filled with devout and thoughtful hearers.

I. THE PREPARATION. A soul brought to Christ by a brother. Two men, friends before, had their friendship riveted and made more close by this sacredest of all bonds, that the one had been to the other the means of bringing him to Jesus Christ. Note

1. The hesitation of Nathanael, His prejudice was —(1) Harmless, and soon melted when Christ beamed upon him.(2) Natural. We all know the jealousies of neighbouring villages. But this prejudice brings into relief what a real obstacle to His Messianic recognition our Lord's lowly origin was. We have got over it. But Judaea was then ruled by the most heartless of aristocracies, that of cultured pedants.Why did Christ come from "the men of the earth" as the rabbis called outsiders?(1) In accordance with the general law that reformers always come from outside these classes; and in politics, literature, science, as well as religion, not many wise and mighty are called.(2) Because He was the poor man's Christ, and because His word was not for any class.

2. Philip's invitation.(1) He did not argue.(2) "Come and see" carries in it the essence of Christian apologetics. The wisest thing is to push Christ forward and let people look at Him and let Him make His own impression. And, on the other side, you have not done fairly by Christianity until you have complied with this invitation.

II. The second stage: THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHRIST AND NATHANAEL, when we see a soul fastened to Christ by Himself. Christ manifests His Messiahship by a supernatural knowledge of him.

1. Before he had come, before Christ could read him, or learn anything about him — while he was coming, Jesus said, "Behold an Israelite," etc. The reference here and in ver. 51 is to Jacob. At Jabbok the crafty Jacob became Israel. So Nathanael was One of God's princes who had wrestled with Him in prayer. How was the guile drawn out of him? See Psalm 32:2. Nathanael's astonishment. Under the fig-tree he must have wrestled in prayer, confessed his sins, longing and looking for the deliverer. Yet so solitary was it, that Christ's knowledge of it led to the glad confession, "Thou art the Son of God." Nathanael was right. So was the woman of Samaria when she drew the same conclusion from the same premises.

3. This was the first miracle that Christ wrought. His supernatural knowledge is as much a mark of His Divinity as any other of His earthly manifestations.(1) This omniscience shows us how glad Christ is when He sees anything good in us. Not a word about Nathanael's prejudice, but cordial praise that he was an honest, a sincere man, following after God and truth.(2) This omniscience is cognizant of all our inward crises and struggles. We can all look back to some place or other, under some hawthorn hedge, or boulder by the seashore, or back parlour, or crowded street where some never-to-be-forgotten epoch in our soul's history passed unseen by all. Let us rejoice to feel that Christ sees all these moments.

III. THE RAPTUROUS CONFESSION which crowns the whole.

1. Where did Nathanael learn these great names? Prom the Baptist's proclamation of the Son of God and the kingdom of heaven.

2. The enthusiasm of this confession. It is no mere intellectual acknowledgment, but warm loyalty and absolute submission. So the great question for us is not, Do I believe, as a piece of my intellectual creed that Christ is the Messiah? etc. That will save no man. What we want is the element of rapturous.acknowledgment, loyal submission, absolute obedience, unfaltering trust.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I. Nathanael himself. He was —

1. A guileless man, childlike, simple-hearted, transparent, neither credulous nor mistrustful, honestly ready to receive testimony and to be swayed by the force of truth.

2. An earnest seeker. "We have found the Messiah" would be no gladsome news to any one not looking for the Messiah. This is the universal condition of finding.

3. Ignorant up to a certain point. He knew not Christ although so near his home, like so many now so near His gospel. He knew not Christ although he knew his Bible. Again the parallel holds good.

4. Prejudiced. Yet his prejudice was excusable, for it was due to the faulty testimony of Philip. Jesus was neither of Nazareth nor the son of Joseph, which shows us how a blundering and prejudice-raising testimony may notwithstanding be owned of God.

5. A godly man up to the measure of his light — a man of secret prayer.

II. NATHANAEL'S SIGHT OF JESUS.

1. Though prejudiced he was candid enough to investigate Christ's claims. If you are prejudiced give the Gospel a fair hearing.

2. He came to Christ with great activity of heart. As soon as he was told to "Come and see," he came and saw, without waiting, as many do, for Christ to come to him. Indifference and lethargy the crying curse of the present day.

3. He saw Jesus —(1) Not merely with his bodily eyes, but —(2) With his mental eyes he formed a just judgment of Christ. He saw one who could read his thoughts and knew his secret actions. So we must see the Divine in Christ to be saved.

III. CHRIST'S SIGHT OF NATHANAEL was not that of an acquaintance or a physiognomist, but of a searcher of hearts. He saw —

1. His guilelessness.

2. What he was doing under the fig-tree known to no one but themselves. What this was we can only surmise. As devout Easterns are accustomed to have a special place of prayer, Nathanael may have been engaged under the fig-tree —

(1)In confession of sin, and Christ brought it to his recollection, which convinced him that He knew the secret burden and the resultant peace.

(2)In heart investigation.

(3)In earnest prayer like Jacob at Peniel.

(4)In making some solemn vow.

(5)In sweet communion with God.

3. And so Christ sees all sincere seekers, their tears, their prayers.

IV. NATHANAEL'S FAITH.

1. Note its grounds. Christ's omniscience, as in the case of the Samaritan woman and Zacchaeus. So some sermons seem made for certain people, although the preacher is ignorant of them. It is Christ's word piercing the hidden depths and revealing secrets.

2. Its clear and comprehensive character. The Son of God to be adored; the King of Israel to be served.

3. Its positiveness. "Thou art."

V. NATHANAEL'S AFTER-SIGHT.

1. He had owned Jesus as the Son of God; he was to see Jesus in His glory as the Son of Man; Christ in His mediatorial capacity as the great link between earth and heaven.

2. The providence of God as ruled by Jesus Christ, who ordereth all things for the good of Hie Church.

3. The second coming of Christ in His glory. These greater things were afterwards. Christians should not clamour to know all about Christianity at first.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. HOW VARIOUS ARE THE PATHS BY WHICH SOULS ARE LED INTO THE NARROW WAY OF LIFE.

1. Philip does not seem to have been moved by the preaching of the Baptist.

2. He was not drawn by the outspoken declarations of a brother like Peter.

3. He was called directly by Christ Himself.

4. Though the earliest disciples entered by different roads, they reached the same way, served the same Master, and at length reached the same home.From which facts we may deduce —

1. That there are diversities of operations answering to diversities of needs. All cannot be converted in precisely the same manner.

2. That we must beware of making the experience of other believers the measure of our own.

II. HOW MUCH OF CHRIST THERE IS IN THE OLD YESTAMENT. Christ is its sum and substance.

1. The promises pointed to Him.

2. The types prefigured Him (John 5:39).

III. THE GOOD ADVICE PHILIP GAVE NATHANAEL.

1. Wiser counsel it would be impossible to conceive. If he had rebuked Nathanael's unbelief he might have driven him back for many a day. Had he reasoned with Nathanael he might have confirmed his doubt. By inviting him to see for himself he showed his entire confidence in his own assertion and his willingness to have it proved.

2. Let us never be afraid to deal with people about their souls. Christianity courts inquiry.

IV. THE HIGH CHARACTER WHICH JESUS GIVES OF NATHANAEL.

1. He was a true child of God. He had that which grace alone can give.

2. He was a genuine son of Abraham. A Jew inwardly.

(Bp. Ryle.)

I. THE CALL OF PHILIP.

1. Christ "findeth him." It was not by chance, although the circumstances may have seemed so to Philip. It was without any concurrence of his. Christ is found of them who sought Him not. The arrangements were Christ's. And whatever the agency now, Christ is the seeker and finder.

2. Christ said "Follow Me" for the first time.(1) An invitation.(2) A command, as all sovereign invitations are, requiring obedience.(3) Implying grace to accept. The followers of Christ —

(a)Look to Him as sheep to a shepherd; as the Israelites to the pillar of cloud; as soldiers to their captain.

(b)And, obeying, separate themselves from sin, from the world, from self, from every connection inconsistent with following Him fully.

(c)Abide with Him.

II. THE CALL OF NATHANAEL.

1. Philip findeth him, being qualified by being found himself. On the same day he was made a disciple he conferred not with flesh and blood, but as Christ's instrument finds his friend.(1) Philip's faith, "We have found Him of whom Moses," etc. All Scripture treats of Christ and faith in that leads to faith in Him.(2) Philip's partial ignorance. "Son of Joseph." "Nazareth." This ignorance at once placed him at a disadvantage, and was the occasion of prejudice as is the ignorance of many Christians now. Observe the faithfulness of Scripture in not concealing the infirmities of the saints. But his intention was upright, and Christ honoured it by leading Nathanael through Philip to Himself.

(A. Beith, D. D.)

I. THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL WHEN RECEIVED INTO THE HEART, IN URGING MEN TO ITS PROPAGATION. Discoverers of hidden treasures have no motive for making them known. Discoverers of a remedy for a direful disease have a powerful motive for making it known, but not necessarily the disposition. But you cannot have a man who, renewed by the Spirit of God, does not seek the renewal of others. The wealth received from Christ is kept by disbursement; the cure accomplished by His blood is radical only as it seeks its extension. And gratitude to the Redeemer impels to a proclamation of redemption. So Philip felt the communicative and diffusive nature of true religion.

II. THE RECEPTION WHICH THE GOSPEL MEETS WITH EVEN FROM MEN OF OPENNESS AND SINCERITY. Men have their prejudices, like Nathanael, founded on some mistake or misapprehension, and these in process of time take the form of incontrovertible principles, just as proverbs are often quoted till they almost pass for Bible texts.

1. "Can deliverance be obtained from one who died as a malefactor?" Yes. "Out of Nazareth," out of shame and death we procure deliverance: for the substitute must take the place of the guilty and bear his doom. Examine and you will See you are putting Nazareth for Bethlehem, falsehood for truth, disgrace for glory. The very circumstances which cause the gospel to appear so humiliating are those which give to it its majesty and power.

2. "Can any virtue come out of a system which bases everything on faith?" Yes. Of all systems for the encouragement of personal holiness there is none like the Christian. For the man who looks to be freely justified by Christ knows that his justification cannot be evidenced but by sanctification.

3. Let, then, all who have taken up a taunt against the gospel, till they have virtually made the taunt itself gospel, learn that though they may be candid, like Nathanael, they may, like him, risk an immeasurable loss out of adherence to a surmise or saying which they have only to investigate to prove erroneous.

III. THE TREATMENT WHICH A PREJUDICED MAN SHOULD RECEIVE FROM A BELIEVER. Philip declined all controversy, though a fairer opening could hardly have been offered. His anxiety was to bring his friend into personal communication with Jesus. This was the method that had succeeded with himself, and he felt that it could not possibly fail with another. There was great wisdom in this; for it does not often happen that men are convinced by argument. So, to persuade a man to read the Bible is better than to draw him into a debate on its evidences. There is no evidence of Christianity like that which a man knocks out for himself with the simple apparatus of a Bible and a conscience.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Seed hath a natural warmth and life in it, by which it increaseth and produceth more seeds like itself; so God's Word, cast into the good ground of a believing heart, hath a supernatural heat, it being as fire, and lively power to frame and dispose men like itself, to make them of fleshly, spiritual; of blind, quicksighted; of dead in sin, alive in grace. And as one grain quickened produces several ears, and many grains in each, so one Christian converted and receiving this power in himself, gaineth many to God, wishing that every one were, as he is, except the bonds of his sins. Philip, being called, finds Nathanael, and brings him to Christ; and the woman at the well calls all the town.

(Dr. Lake.)

The whole world may be divided into three classes and orders of men: those who, having found God, resign themselves up to His service; those who, having not yet found Him, do indefatigably seek after Him; those who have neither found Him, nor are inclined to seek Him: the first are happy and wise; the third are unhappy and fools; the second must be owned to be wise, as they own themselves to be unhappy.

(Pascal.)

Discoverers in the natural world frequently, for prudential reasons, keep silence as to their discoveries. When Galileo first turned his glass on the planet Saturn he saw, as he thought, that it consisted of three spheres close together, the middle one being the largest. Being not quite sure of his fact, he was in a dilemma between his desire to wait longer for further observation and his fear that some other observer might forestall him. To combine these Galileo wrote a sentence, "I have observed the highest planet to be triple." He then jumbled the letters together and made the sentence into one monstrous word, and published this, which contained his discovery, but under lock and key. He had reason to congratulate himself on his prudence, for within two years two of the supposed bodies disappeared, leaving only one; and for nearly fifty years Saturn continued to all astronomers the enigma it was to Galileo, until in 1656 it was finally made clear that it was surrounded by a thin flat ring, which, when fully seen, gave rise to the first appearance in Galileo's small telescope, and when seen edgeways disappeared from view altogether. With an instinct that makes the newly saved Christian long that others may share his icy, he, however, goes everywhere, saying, "We have found the Messiah; this is the Christ."

(H. O. Mackey.)

Can any good come out of Nazareth
I. In the INTELLECTUAL world. Can a man become a scholar without a university training? Hugh Miller, etc.

II. In the POLITICAL world. Can a man who was a rail-splitter in his youth make a good President? Lincoln.

III. In the SOCIAL world. Frequently a man whom society learns to respect is of humble parentage, and vice versa.

IV. In the ECCLESIASTICAL world. Examples of pure Christianity in Roman Churches — Anselm, Bernard, Newman. Noble pagans, , , etc.

V. In the MORAL world. Some of the most distinguished saints in obscure conditions. The purest diamond — where is that? Precious metals too.

(G. F. Green.)

Come and see
Prejudices often find expression in spite of one's consciousness of them, and of the protest of reason. All that is needed to betray them is simply an occasion. Such an occasion was given Nathanael by Philip's mention of "Nazareth." The best response to a sneer, as a rule, is silence. Christ's manner, for the most of us, is the wisest and most dignified "answering not a word." Nevertheless, it is allowable to transfix a prejudice, or turn aside a sneer, if we can do it as effectually as Philip. He neither admits nor denies the force of Nathanael's objection. His answer is a challenge whose reasonableness Nathanael himself could not deny — "Come and see!" The excellence of Christ may be learned in part:

I. FROM REPORT; OR, THE TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES. "We have found Him," etc., is substantially the testimony of every honest inquirer. Also the Samaritan woman (John 4:29), whose testimony brought many of her people to Him. The whole New Testament is but a report of witnesses of the person, character, teachings, etc., of the Son of God.

II. BY INTERCOURSE WITH HIS DISCIPLES. Nathanael heeded Philip's terse advice; he went with him to see Christ. True Christian example is an illustration of Christ Himself. Christ's excellence, reproduced in His disciples, may be learned even by His bitterest enemies. Said a fierce Papist to Bishop Jewel: "I should love thee, Jewel, if thou wast not a Lutheran — in thy faith thou art a heretic, but, surely, in thy life thou art an angel. Lord Peterborough, when visiting Archbishop Fenelon, heard no argument from him on the claims of Christianity. The venerable prelate let logic alone, and simply lived such a life as he was wont to do when there were no infidels about to witness. The exclamation of the deist was, "If I stay here much longer, I shall become a Christian in spite of myself." "Come and see," thou unbelieving friend! Mingle with Christians — not to mark their inconsistencies and expose their faults. A better motive is his who is ever looking for excellencee: and these will be found even in the humblest of Christ's disciples.

III. BY PERSONAL REALIZATION. You cannot know the excellence of a thing without personally testing it. What do you know of a fruit you have never tasted? The sight of food relieves no one's hunger. "If any man will do His will," etc. Christianity is a grand temple, the interior of which you have never seen. It is famous the world over. Crowds of all ages and nationalities have entered it, and, gazing upon its grandeur, have been lost in wonder, exclaiming, "The half was not told me!" But you are without, looking listlessly at a single rose-window, and asking, "What is there here to admire?" But "come and see." Let me take you, as Philip took Nathanael, into the temple. Then shall its glory burst upon you overwhelmingly! This personal test, or experience, is the only proof of gospel blessings which thousands of Christians can urge without fear of successful contradiction. Conclusion: —

1. Christ would be more appreciated if He were more thoroughly known.

2. Once Scripturally known, Christ needs no longer to beg for men's regard. Come and see: —

I. THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR SEEING CHRIST.

1. Deep conviction and penitence on the part or gross sinners.

2. Guileless sincerity on the part of those who, like Nathaniel, have not gone so far morally astray.

II. THE NECESSITY OF SEEING CHRIST.

1. Argument about an absent person most inefficient.

2. Personal contemplation alone efficient.

III. THE MEANS OF SEEING CHRIST.

1. Earnest unprejudiced study of the facts of Christ's history and of His words. Come out of the world and compare it with the Christ depicted in the Gospels.

2. Clear patient meditation on Christ's commentary on His character and mission to the Church.(1) Not as Rome would have us do, behold Christ in her ecclesiastics, rites, councils, and visible head. Often have these things created a Nathanael-like prejudice. But(2) In the blended lives of Christ's saintly followers who constitute the true Church.(3) In the regenerating effects which the Church, through Him, has produced in the world.

3. Actual intercourse with Christ Himself.(1) We have often wished for bodily contact, a knowledge of Christ after the flesh. This would be very precious, but, as St. Paul shows, might bring no real knowledge.

4. The vision of faith the highest and best means of enjoying the manifestation of Christ. This vision(1) Is progressive.(2) Becomes a power of vision in every other direction. The believer sees Christ everywhere.

(T. Islip.)

S. S. Times.
The whole of Galilee was a despised region in the eyes of the more polished Palestinians of the South. The Galileans were accused of being rude, illiterate, and devoid of culture. Their pronunciation was said to be so thick that it led constantly to mortifying blunders, as when one could not tell from the word used whether a Galilean peasant had come to the market for an ass (khamor), wine (khemer), sheepskin (immer), or wool ('immar). A Galilean woman, inviting her guest to table, said: "I am going to give you milk to eat." In her thick Galilean pronunciation it actually sounded: "May a lion eat you!" Other such ambiguities are mentioned as occurring in the rude speech of the Galileans. Worse than all, the Galileans were said to be loose on points of doe-trine, so that a bad odour of heterodoxy hung over the province. It was not to Galilee that the Judaean would naturally have looked for a great theological teacher. Nazareth shared, of course, in the reproach of the province to which it belonged. The town was simply a typical Galilean village, filled with a warm-hearted, and perhaps (as the Talmud suggests) a warm-tempered people, who had little sympathy with the learned casuistry of the Judaean rabbis, and were therefore looked down upon as ignorant rabble. There is little reason for charging special moral turpitude against the people of Nazareth. The Judaean simply looked down upon Nazareth as the urbane inhabitant of a great city is supposed to look down upon a backwoods settlement. The inhabitants of a college town in the East would hardly turn to the new settlement of Nosuchplace, in Blank Territory, for a teacher of culture. That was the way the Judsaean felt with regard to Nazareth.

(S. S. Times.)

Suppose you were told that a peasant out of Ross-shire was a man on whom the whole history of the nation hung. Would you believe it without first saying, "That is a strange place for such a person to be born in"? Galilee was a despised part of Palestine, and Nazareth was a proverbially despised part of Galilee; and this Jesus was a carpenter's son that nobody had ever heard of. It seemed to be a strange head on which the Divine Dove should flutter down, passing by all the Pharisees and Scribes, all the great and wise. Nathanael's prejudice was but the giving voice to a fault that is as wide as humanity, and which we have every day of our lives to fight with — the habit of estimating people and their work, wisdom, and power to teach us by the class to which they are supposed to belong, or even by the place from which they come. "Can a German teach an Englishman anything he does not know?" "Is a Protestant to owe anything of spiritual illumination to a Roman Catholic?" "Are we Dissenters to receive any wisdom or example from Church. men?" "Will a Conservative be able to give any lessons in politics to a Liberal?" "Is there any other bit of England that can teach Lancashire?" Take care that whilst you are holding up your hands in horror against the prejudices of our Lord's contemporaries who stumbled at His origin you are not doing the same thing in regard to all manner of subjects twenty times a day.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

A man was stoutly asserting that there were no goldfields except in Mexico and Peru. A nugget dug up in California was shown him as convincing evidence against his positive statement to the contrary. So far from being disconcerted, he quietly answered: "This metal, I confess, is extremely like gold; and .you tell me that it passes as such in the market. All this I do not dispute. Nevertheless, the metal is not gold, but auruminium; it cannot be gold, because gold comes only from Mexico and Peru." In vain was he told that the geological formation of California was similar to that of Peru, and that the metals were similar. He had made up his mind that gold existed only in Mexico and Peru; this was a law of nature; he had no reason to give why it should be so; but such had been the admitted fact for years, and from this opinion he would not swerve.

(John N. Norton.)

It is a great pity that this way of estimating the value of suggested truth is so common in our day. "Can a minister know anything about science?" is the sneering question on one side. Yes; and on the other side the equally scornful question often comes, "Can a scientist who is not a Christian believer bring out facts that a Bible student ought to ponder?" "Is there any truth worth considering in the outside religions of the world?" asks some " orthodox" believer, who answers his question in the negative before he asks it. And some "liberal thinker" puts his question, in a like spirit of confident denial, "Is any 'orthodox' truth worth believing in these days of religious progress?" It is the old spirit, and much the old question, of the provincial bigot of Judaea, "Can any good come out of Nazareth?"

(H. G. Trumbull, D. D.)

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