Nathanael and Jesus Christ
This last passage of John 1 concerns Nathanael and his conversion. What you and I need to know is who was this man? He is mentioned in this gospel only. The man name Bartholomew is believed to be Nathanael’s second name. There is very little evidence to support this thought. What was behind the statement “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” This is stated in verse 46. This is a matter of a cultural viewpoint. The people of Judea held these people in low esteem [Mattoon’s Treasures, Treasures from John Volume 1 – Chapter 21. What Kind of Faith Do You Have?, p. 145] These individuals had a mixed ancestry filled with back wood manners. There was a coarseness of dialect, and lack of sophistication. [Ibid.] They were ready to put Jesus to death. Jesus’ ministry was hindered because of the rejection of His claims. They held bitterness and scorn in their hearts against Jesus.
These verses deal with the conversion of Nathanael. When he came to Jesus, he was surprised to know that the Lord knew all about him. When Jesus called him “an Israelite in whom is no guile,” Jesus was certainly referring to Jacob. Jacob is the ancestor of the Jews. He used guile to trick his brother, his father, and his father-in-law. Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” which means “a prince with God.” The statement that Jesus made concerning who Nathanael revealed that Jesus knew him. This convinced Nathanael that Jesus was God, the King of Israel. Note http://ref.ly/Jn4.25. The revealing of the heart should be active in the ministry of the local church. http://ref.ly/1Co14.23-35.
In verses 50-51 “Son of Man” was one of our Lord’s favorite titles for Himself. It is used eighty-three times in the Gospels. It is seen thirteen times in John. It speaks both of deity and humanity of Jesus. The vision in http://ref.ly/Da7.13 presents the “Son of man” in a definite messianic setting. Jesus used the title in the same way.
As the Son of man, Jesus became the living link between heaven and earth. This explains the mention of “Jacob’s ladder in Genesis 28.
At the close of that fourth day, Jesus had six believing men who were His disciples. They did not immediately forsake all to follow Jesus. That would come later. They trusted Him, and they experienced His power. They would grow in faith in the three years that they walked with Jesus. They would one day take His place in spreading the good news.