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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 1 - The Shining of the Divine Light (John 1:1 - 4:54)
B - Christ Leads his Disciples from the Sphere of Repentance to the joy of the Wedding (John 1:19 - 2:12)

3. The first six disciples (John 1:35-51)

JOHN 1:43-46
43 On the next day, he was determined to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. 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 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.”

In the previous verses we read of events occurring on four consecutive days. On the first a delegation came from Jerusalem; on the second John proclaimed Jesus as God’s Lamb; on the third Jesus recruited four disciples; on the fourth day, he called Philip and Nathanael into the circle of disciples.

It was Jesus who sought Philip. Doubtless Philip had earlier heard from the Baptist that Jesus was amongst them. He was surprised when the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. Philip did not dare to approach Jesus although he wished to know the Lord, but regarded himself unfit for fellowship with the Divine. So Jesus went to him, removed his qualms and bade him to rise and follow.

Jesus had the right to choose men for himself, for he had created, loved and redeemed them. It is not ourselves who choose to accept him, but he sees us first; he had sought us, found us and calls us to his service.

There is no following without a call, no useful service without a command from Christ. Whoever serves without being selected for the task in God’s Kingdom harms himself and others. But whoever hears Christ and obeys readily, will enjoy Christ’s tender care. Jesus will be responsible for him at all times.

Philip soon went out to evangelize; finding his friend Nathanael he gave him the good news; expressing it in the Church’s message, "We have found the Messiah!", not, "I have found", but he included himself humbly in the Church’s confession.

It appears that Jesus informed these disciples about the course of his mission. Joseph was his father by adoption who brought him up. Jesus says nothing about his birth in Bethlehem, and at this stage the disciples knew nothing about that event.

Nathanael was skilled in the Scriptures. So he searched the books of Moses and the Prophets, and learned about the promises that pointed to Christ, knowing that the Coming One would be born in Bethlehem of David’s line, and would be King over his people. Nathanael found it hard to accept the fact that the Messiah would come from the small town of Nazareth which is not even listed in the Old Testament and no prophesy is linked to it. Nathanael remembered that this town in Galilee was the scene of a Zealot rebellion of patriots and religious enthusiasts against Rome. The revolt was crushed and much blood shed.

These facts were of no concern to Philip. His joy had been great on discovering Christ. His enthusiasm overcame the doubts of Nathanael. He said, cutting short any argument, "Come and see." This motto for evangelism is the basis in experience for the truth, and leads to it, "Come and see." Do not argue about Jesus, but experience his power and fellowship. Our testimony is not based on imaginary thoughts, but on a Person, who is truly Lord.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your joy that fills our hearts, moves us in the beauty of your fellowship to lead others unto you. Give us the desire to preach in patient love, and forgive us every fear, delay and embarrassment we have, proclaiming your name boldly.


  1. How did the first disciples proclaim Jesus’ name to others?


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