43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe[a] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[b] you[c] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[d] the Son of Man.”
Personal Reflection and Discussion
You may already know this, but let me share with you the origins of coffee. Coffee is said to have originated sometime in the 15th century and the stories vary. Why wouldn’t they? Some would consider it one of the best findings in the world, just picked off some bushes in the wilderness. When farmers were getting perplexed as to why some goats were coming back full of energy, especially their older ones. They followed the goats to a plant with red berries. The berries took on the name Kaldi. They noticed that THESE berries were the reason for the energy, the excitement, the extra lived out life. They took these berries and shared with other farmers and their families. The level of energy and excitement was so noticeable by the consumption of these beans that they gave these beans to monasteries so that monks would stay up during long prayer sessions. It was even said that the leaders of the monasteries disapproved of these beans so much that they threw them in a fire and noticed a sweet aroma coming from the bean and fell in love with it once more. They reconsidered their views. These beans were shared and shared and shared as more and more people said, “come and see”. From such a unique and desolate place came an energy, and in these beans were life.
- “Come and see.” Sound familiar? These words were the same Christ used that brought Simon Peter to a deeper faith and now other’s are finding this very welcoming phrase powerful. In John’s Gospel on at least three occasions we see the ministry of brief testimony and invitation at work. Philip has an encounter with Jesus and found it meaningful. He goes and finds his friend Nathaniel, briefly recounts his encounter with Jesus, and invites Nathaniel to “Come and see” for himself. Andrew has previously done the same with Peter (Jn1:35-42. In John 4:7-28,39-42 we will find a Samaritan woman doing the same. What do you think?
- What is witnessing? (see Mk 5:19; 1 Jn 1:1-3)
- How did Philip know the characteristics which were to give evidence to Christ’s coming?
- Why does Nathanael exclaim that nothing good comes from Nazareth? What location or in what situations would most people describe a place absent of Christ? Why?
- What does God do with places where “nothing good comes from”? What’s the irony found in James 1:17? Take the time to consider how great it Is that our God is good. Take a look at the Greek Word of the Day to help you discern everything that is included in the word “good”.
- Christ mentioned He saw Nathanael under a fig tree. Where do you most commonly forget that Christ is omnipresent? How will this recollection transform those situations, if at all?
- What have been some of your encounters and experiences with Jesus?
- With whom might you share these and invite them to “Come and see”?
- What titles do Nathanael declare of Jesus? What is it about those two titles of Christ that make him revered? Which title do you least commonly acknowledge? Why?
- Where can people go today to come and see? (Hebrews 1:2)
Dear Jesus, thank you for allowing me to come and see you on a daily basis because seeing you is seeing good. I am very encouraged right now just by the knowledge that you are good. You are incapable of being unlawful, you are incapable of being bad, of being selfish, of being useless, of laziness or exhaustion. Thank you for being life and love and goodness. I love you! Amen.
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: Good | Transliterated Word: Agathos
A primary word: “good” (in any sense, often as a noun): generosity, good, goodness, healthy, honest. Adjective meaning good and benevolent, profitable, useful. Of good character, disposition, quality. Upright, virtuous, opposed to unlawfulness.
Family Engagement Activity
Have everyone talk about times where something good came from a bad situation. Maybe it was something as small as at time when someone didn’t want to clean their room but they found a missing toy OR a time when one of your kids had a friend who lied to them but it allowed them to find better friends or know the importance of trust in another friend of theirs.. Talk about how Christ came from a place where most considered void of good.
If you have seeds that can be planted, this would be a good day to do it. Talk about how a tiny seed planted in a big batch of dirt provides the world with beauty. Some seeds even lead to produce vegetation and fruit — nourishment.
Then, go around the table and ask each person to name one person that you want to invite to “come and see the beauty, nourishment, and goodness that is Jesus”.
“Come and see” Be mindful that there might be an opportunity to not just TELL someone about Jesus or to simply GIVE your witness, but to INVITE THEM TO LIVE LIFE with you through weekly or even daily meetups discovering Jesus — meeting Jesus in devotion, discussion, or study, AND FOLLOWING THROUGH.
When did something great come from a bad place or situation in your life or the life of someone else? In that situation, locate the blessings and tell this story to someone else today.
Do you know someone in a bad situation right now? If so, how can you be Jesus to them, whether it’s a listening ear, a gift, or the example of Christ’s rescue in your own life through similar hardship or struggle if you feel called to do so. Somehow mention Jesus’ part in all of this. Let them know He listens and provides blessings in the midst of every situation to those who call on His name. Invite them to come and see this life giver you’ve met. Invite them to not just do this study if you are finding this helpful, but walk beside them in this journey.