Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19990630.htm
JOHN: TRIUMPHING IN LIFE'S MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
Part II: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
B. Christ's Credentials Exposed Unto Men
1. Christ's Credentials Exposed In His Power To Disciple To And Through His Own
Lesson: Jesus exposed His divine foreknowledge, omniscience and omnipresence in calling His disciples and developing them to become men who would in turn disciple and see God's glory.
- Though Christ came to disciple men, and to make men effective disciplers of others, the hurdle of sin in man makes it seem at times impossible both for men to be discipled, let alone for them even to gain the crediblity to disciple others once they are discipled. The process can seem like an uphill, no-win battle.
- Jesus overcame all hurdles in discipling due to His divine power! This revelation provides encouragement for our own discipleship, let alone our own discipling efforts today as follows :
- Christ's Credentials Exposed In His Power To Disciple To And Through His Own, John 1:40-51.
- Jesus revealed His divine foreknowledge and omnipotence in predicting His discipleship of Simon Peter.
- After Andrew, Simon's brother began to follow Jesus, he told Simon he'd found the Messiah, 1:40-41.
- Andrew then brought Simon to Jesus, but before he could introduce him to Christ, Jesus revealed His divine foreknowledge of Simon by stating his name and lineage from his father, Jona, John 1:42a.
- Jesus went on to rename Simon as Peter, indicating His great power over Peter for his good as follows:
- Naming another party indicated sovereignty, meaning Jesus was right then indicating His divine claim on Peter's life, and assuming power for his discipleship, cf. Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to Gen. 1:10.
- What Jesus did in changing Simon's name to Peter, which generally means "rock," was to reveal He would take an ordinary, possibly weak man and make him a strong, stable figure in His Church.
- Jesus revealed His authority over Philip in searching him out and calling him to discipleship, Jn. 1:43-44.
- Jesus revealed His divine foreknowledge, omniscience and omnipresence in winning Nathaniel's faith in Himself, and then predicting what great thing He would do in Nathaniel's future discipleship, John 1:45-51:
- When Philip began to follow Jesus, he told Nathaniel he had found the Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth, 45.
- Since Nazareth then had a low reputation (Ibid., Ryr. St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to John 1:46), Nathaniel at first doubted Philip's report that Jesus from Nazareth could indeed be God's promised Messiah, John 1:46a.
- Wisely, Philip did not argue with Nathaniel, but encouraged him to see Jesus for himself, John 1:46b.
- Against this negative challenge to Nathaniel's even accepting Jesus' Messianic identify, Jesus exposed some of His divine attributes to change Nathaniel's opinion and later to disciple him into the Kingdom:
- Jesus revealed His divine foreknowledge, omniscience and omnipresence regarding Nathaniel to change his mind: (a) Upon seeing him, Jesus declared Nathaniel to be a man without guile, Jn. 1:47. (b) From what appears in verses 48 and 51, we deduce that Nathaniel was sitting under a fig tree prior to meeting Philip and was there thinking about Jacob, a man of guile who was nonetheless graciously allowed to see God's angels ascend and descend upon him at Bethel in Genesis 28:10-15. (c) Taken back by Jesus' statement about guile in light of what he had just been thinking, Nathaniel wanted an explanation of how Jesus could know his character, John 1:48a. (d) Jesus explained that before Phili p had come to Nathaniel, Jesus had seen him under the fig tree and was entering into his thoughts relating to Jacob, 1:48b. (e) Overwhelmed by this kind of insight that matches what David said belongs to God in Ps. 139:3-4, Nathaniel believed Jesus was both God and Messiah.
- Jesus then revealed that Nathaniel would be discipled to enter the Kingdom and see more than Jacob had seen -- he would see angels ascending and descending on Messiah Jesus, John 1:50-51.
Application: (1) We must not give up on the discipleship of ourselves or others -- our Lord is GOD, and has the full range of divine attributes at His disposal to sway and edify His own! (2) We must also never underestimate Gods' ability to use U S to disciple others, regardless what blocks exist even to our credibility before those we are to disciple: as we live by Jesus' power, we are equipped to overcome as He overcame His negative identity to disciple Nathaniel, Jn. 1:46-51; Mtt. 28:18-20a with 28:20b!