The Son of God and King of Israel (John 1:35-51)a

© 2020 Tony Garlandb

Passage (John 1:35-51)

  1. Taken in two parts: verses 35-42, then verses 43-51

John 1:35-42

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John [speak], and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).1 (John 1:35-42)

  1. The two disciples heard him [John the Baptist] speak, and they followed Jesus (John 1:37)

    1. Based on John’s proclamation of Jesus as the Lamb of God, they left John and went over to Jesus

    2. Connected this “Lamb of God” with the “coming one” that John had already mentioned that was preferred/greater

    3. We discussed the significance of Jesus as “the Lamb of God” in the previous session

    4. John the Baptist hasn’t yet stated, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30), but is already seeing the transition focus away from his ministry as these two disciples depart to follow Jesus

  2. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother (John 1:40)

    1. Already a disciple of John the Baptist, prior to the ministry of Jesus

    2. We have found the Messiah (John 1:41)

      1. Andrew declares Jesus to be “the Christ” before the subsequent declaration by his brother Peter, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16)
      2. Which is translated, the Christ (John 1:41) - a title, “the anointed one,” designated by God to serve a special role
  3. “You shall be called Cephas. . .A Stone” (John 1:42)

    1. Although Andrew follows Jesus first, Jesus knows that Peter will serve a role of greater significance

    2. Cephas from the Aramaic word, Kepha meaning “rock”3

      1. Used of Peter in several passages (John 1:42; 1Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal. 2:9)
    3. “A Stone” is from the Greek term, Πέτρος [Petros] — from which we derive “Peter”

      1. “You are Peter (Πέτρος [Petros]) and upon this rock (πέτρα [petra]) I will build my church . . .” (Matthew 16:18)

John 1:43-51

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, 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 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom 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 and said to 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, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:43-51)

  1. He [Jesus] found Philip . . . Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter (John 1:43-44)

    1. Was Philip in the proximity because of contact with the two brothers, Andrew and Peter?

    2. Philip found Nathanael . . . (John 1:45) - God often works through seemingly insignificant personal associations

      1. Nathanael not mentioned in synoptic gospels - some suggest he is Bartholomew
  2. “. . . of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote” (John 1:45)

    1. Moses - “the prophet” (Deu. 18:15)

    2. Prophets - many, many passages

  3. Nathanael’s response: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

    1. Many unfamiliar with His actual origin: Bethlehem.

  4. Jesus saw Nathanael . . . and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47)

  5. Nathanael’s astonishment, “How do you know me?” (John 1:48)

    1. “Before Philip called you . . . under the fig tree . . . I saw you.” (John 1:48)

      1. Something only Philip would have known
      2. Jesus’ evidences knowledge of both past (Philip) and future (naming of Peter)
    2. Response: “Rabbi, You are the son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49)

      1. “Rabbi” = “my great one” or “my teacher”
      2. Notice the combination of titles found in Psalm 2 — son of God and King
      3. We now have both portions of Peter’s famous declaration stated in advance, probably in Peter’s hearing
        1. Andrew: the Messiah . . . the Christ (John 1:41)
        2. Nathanael: son of God (John 1:49)
        3. Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:18)
      4. It is one thing to hear and another to believe and profess!
  6. “. . . hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

    1. Jesus identifying with Jacob’s ladder (Gen. 28:12-14)

      12 Then he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 28:12-14)

      1. Set up on earth, reaching into heaven
      2. The LORD stood above it and said . . . to Jacob
        1. A restatement of land promise, and blessing to all families of the earth
      3. Serves as a conduit for messengers (angels = מַלְאָךְ [malʾāk] = ἀγγέλους [angelous]) between God and man
      4. The emphasis is on communication between God and man, especially from God to man
      5. Jesus, as angel (messenger) of YHWH has served in this role4
      6. Jacob considered it the gate (שַׁעַר [šaʿar], entrance area) of heaven (Gen. 28:17), similar to Babel (“door/gate of god”, Gen. 11:5,9)
    2. Descending/ascending between heaven and earth (Pr. 30:4)

      Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know? (Proverbs 30:4)

    3. At His ascension, He went up, angels came down (Acts 1:9-11)

    4. The bread that came down from heaven vs. “whose father and mother we know” (John 6:41-42)

      1. In distinction to “. . . Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45)
    5. Jesus as mediator between heaven and earth (1Ti. 2:5)

      For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)

    6. Told of earthly and heavenly things (John 3:12)

      “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

    7. “Son of Man” - as well as Son of God

      1. Incarnation of deity
      2. Spanning the gap between heaven (deity) and earth (humanity)

        Thu Apr 9 16:42:32 2020 Scan Code


1.Unless indicated otherwise, all Scripture references are from the New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2.Ref-1517, 58
4.Regarding Jesus as the angel of YHWH, see Gen. 16:7-13 ; Gen. 18:1-2; 22:11-18; 32:24-30; 48:16; Ex. 3:1-6; 4:24; 13:21; 14:19; 23:20-23; 24:9-11; 32:34; 33:14,2,14,20; Num. 20:16; 22:22; Deu. 4:37; Jos. 5:13-15; Jdg. 2:1-5; 5:23; 6:11-23; 13:3-23; 2S. 24:15-17; 1K. 19:7; 2K. 1:3,15; 19:35; 1Chr. 21:12-30; Ps. 34:7; 35:5-6; Isa. 37:36; 63:9; Eze. 1:26; Dan. 3:25; Hos. 12:4-5; Zec. 1:11-12; 3; John 1:18; 5:37; 8:48; 14:9; Acts 7:30-33,38; 1Ti. 3:16; 6:16


Ref-1517F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1983). ISBN:0-8028-3407-8d.

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