John 1:43-51 (NASB)
“(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.'”
The key verse in this passage is verse 45. The following verse comes from the King James Version:
(45) Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Philip makes a profound statement here. They have found Him. Jesus was the One that Moses in the law, the prophets did write about. He is Jesus of Nazareth… These plain ordinary, everyday individuals know who Jesus is based upon Old Testament prophecy. He is the One that Moses spoke of when he was alive. He pointed to the coming Messiah. http://ref.ly/Jn21.2 reveals the fact that at least seven of the twelve apostles were fishermen. This includes Nathanael. It is noted that fishermen are courageous. Their occupation made them stick to the job no matter how difficult.
Let us stop for a moment and discuss Moses and some of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah.
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 (KJV)
(15) The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (16) According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. (17) And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. (18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
The religious leaders asked John the Baptist if he was that “Prophet” that should come. He told them that he was not that “Prophet.” http://ref.ly/Jn1.21 . The “Prophet” that should come was the Lord Jesus Christ. http://ref.ly/Ac3.22f . For Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, we turn to http://ref.ly/Is53.4. http://ref.ly/Is53.7 ,http://ref.ly/Is53.9 http://ref.ly/Is53.12. This is an example of the many prophecies, which mention the coming Messiah and His life. If the religious leaders had reviewed these verses, they might have realized that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah.