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Discovering the Son of God

What Nathanael Discovered

John had seen the Holy Spirit come to stay with Jesus. Now he knew that Jesus is the Son of God.

Some people were followers of John. They believed God spoke through John. They came often to hear what he said. They wanted to learn from him. Such followers were called disciples.

John told his disciples Jesus would take away the sin of the world.

One of John’s disciples was a man named Andrew. Andrew decided to become Jesus’ disciple. He still liked John, but John himself said Jesus was more important than he was. Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus. They believed Jesus was Christ. Jesus also asked a man named Philip to come with them.

Philip believed in Jesus. He went and found his friend Nathanael. Philip said, "We’ve found the Christ that the prophets wrote about. He is Jesus from Nazareth."

Nathanael knew about Nazareth. It wasn’t a very good place. He said, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

Philip said, "Come and see."

Philip and Nathanael found Jesus. Jesus looked at Nathanael. He said, "Look at a Jewish person who is completely honest!"

Nathanael asked, "How do you know me?"

Jesus said, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."

We don’t know what happened under the fig tree. Nathanael must have been tempted. Maybe somebody wanted Nathanael to help him cheat. Maybe Nathanael was tempted to lie to make a friend happy. Whatever had happened, Nathanael had been honest. He had also been faithful to God.

Nathanael was sure Jesus couldn’t know what had happened. Jesus was too far away. Part of what happened was in Nathanael’s mind. Jesus couldn’t know what he thought, but somehow Jesus did know. Nathanael remembered what Philip had told him. Now he was with Jesus, and Jesus knew his personal secrets. Jesus also approved of the good things in his heart. Nathanael realized Jesus was an unusual person. God put an idea in Nathanael’s mind, and then Nathanael knew something very important. He said, "Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!"

Jesus said, "Do you say this because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree?’" You will see greater things than this. You will even see Heaven open and angels going up and down on the Son of Man."

"Son of Man" is a name Jesus used for Himself. He also called Himself the Son of God. Being the Son of God and Son of Man is what made Jesus special.

Nathanael also became one of Jesus’ disciples. In fact, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael would be among Jesus’ twelve closest friends. What Jesus said was true. Nathanael saw Jesus do many wonderful things. He would see Jesus do things that only the Son of God could do. For the rest of his life he believed that Jesus is the Son of God.

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