29: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30: This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31: And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32: And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33: And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34: And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
The Witnesses – First disciples Andrew, Philip & Nathanael.
35: Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36: And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37: And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38: Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39: He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40: One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41: He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42: And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. 43: The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44: Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 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. 46: And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48: Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49: Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50: Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51: And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
The next event John records which seems to have occurred after the temptation of Christ in the wilderness is when John points out Christ to the crowd as the Lamb of God - The one who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one says John who provides full atonement for the whole world. Christ works may only be effective for those who accept it but the sin he died for was for all men both believers and unbelievers. It seems the atonement was unlimited. John speaks of the superiority of his person and his mission. John identified him by divine revelation. John knew him to be a righteous man but he didn’t know he was the Son of the Father the Son of God. Those who previously followed John now turn to follow Jesus. They asked simply for Jesus address. Christ said come and see for yourselves. They stayed with him that night as it was about 4pm. On the following day Andrew one of the ‘followers’ found his brother Simon and told him – We have found the Messiah and he brought him to Jesus. Andrew was the first evangelist. When Christ first met Simon he named him Peter which means a small pebble. The next day Jesus set out north for Galilee. But first he found Philip and called him to follow. Philip sought out Nathanael to tell him that they had found Jesus the Christ the one who is foretold in the OT prophecies. Nathanael was surprised at the home town of Jesus and said so. It was such a backwater. However when Christ met Nathanael he demonstrated his Spiritual knowledge of Nathanael in such a way that he was full convinced. These demonstrations of Christ’s knowledge were Messianic signs to those with discernment. Nathanael quickly caught on saying to Christ. ‘Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel’. This is a classic example of confession which was a requirement of all Jews coming to faith in Christ. Of course these titles meant little to uneducated heathen Gentiles. When Paul is discussing the relationship of Israel to the good news he makes this point in Roms 10v9. And of this confession by Nathanael was based on a very simple messianic sign. Christ remarks that Nathanael will see much more than this sign in fact he will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. There is no reason to suppose that Nathanael did not see exactly this is Christ’s lifetime. Already we have seen that at Christ’s temptation angels appeared at the end to minister unto him.
- What did John mean by ‘The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’
- What did Andrew do when he made his discovery of Jesus?
- What sort of person was Nathanael?