Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Baptism. In the desert. First acceptance of disciples

- Chapter 9 -
Further callings: Philip and Nathanael.


(John 1:43) The next day Jesus decided to go again to Galilee, and he finds Philip and says to him: 'Follow Me!'

In the morning I tell the two, 'My time in this desert has come to an end. I shall ho to Galilee whence I have come. Will you come with Me? I leave the decision to you for I know that you have wife and child whom it is not easy for you to leave. But no one who leaves something for My sake will lose what he has left, but will regain it many times over.'
Says Peter, 'Lord, for your sake I would give up my live, not to mention my wife and child. - They will survive without me, for I am a beggar and cannot provide them with much bread. Our fishing brings hardly enough to feed one person, let alone a whole family. My brother Andrew can confirm this. Although we were born at Bethsaida, we had to come for food to these desolate banks of the Jordan, which are comparatively rich in fish, where we have now also been baptised by John. Our father Jonas is still strong and so are our wives and sisters. Added to this the blessing from on high, and they will manage.' - I commended both of them, and we started on our way.

(John 1:44) Philip came from Bethsaida, from the town of Andrew and Peter.

On the road, which for a while still followed the banks of the Jordan, we meet Philip, who was also born in Bethsaida, and was now in the early morning fishing for his breakfast in the waves of the Jordan. Peter drew My attention to him and said, 'O Lord! ^%This man suffers much and is very poor, but still the most honest and righteous man, full of true piety in his heart. Would you consider letting him come with us?'
Upon such a loving suggestion by Peter I say only, 'Philip, follow Me!' Without hesitation he throws his nets down and follows Me, not even asking whither. Only on the road does Peter tell him, 'The One we are following is the Messiah!' But Philip says, 'My heart already told me that the moment He called me so lovingly.'
Philip, however, was unmarried and staying with the poor fishermen as a teacher, because he had quite a good knowledge of the Scriptures. He was personally aquainted with Joseph of Nazareth and thus knew me also and many a thing that had happened at My birth and during My early years. He was also one of those who were secretly hoping for the Messiah in My person, but since I, from My twelfth year onwards did not perform any miracles and lived and worked like any other ordinary person, also the first amazing impression that had been created by the circumstances of My birth had with many people got completely lost. Even those who had been most excited said that My birth had become so memorable thanks to the as such strange coincidence of various circumstances and phenomena with which My birth was surely not connected in any way. Beside the highly gifted nature of My early years had so completely disappeared that in the years of My manhood not a trace of it could be found. - But Philip and a few others secretly still held on to a certain hope concerning Me, for they knew about the prophecy of Simeon and Anna at the time of My circumcision in the temple and thought a lot of it.

(John 1:45) Philip finds Nathanael and tells him: 'We have found the one spoken of by Moses in the law, and by the prophets: It is Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth.'

When Philip, who followed Me, meets Nathanael, for whom he had been looking on the road, sitting under a fig tree repairing his fishing-tackle, he says to him with fervour, 'Brother, I kept looking for you along the quite long road and now rejoice with all my heart to have found you; for look, we have found the One spoken of by Moses in the Law and buy the prophets. It is after all Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.'

(John 1:46) And Nathanael said to him: 'Can anything good come from Nazareth?!' Says thereupon Philip: 'Come and see for yourself!'

Nathanael thereupon says with just a trace of resentment, 'Everybody knows the miserable hole Nazareth! - Can anything good come from this hole? - And (in a way quite obviously) least of all the Messiah.' But Philip says, 'I am aware that in this respect you have always been my opponent, although I have presented my arguments to you a hundred times. But now do come and convince yourself and you will admit that I have been completely right.'
Nathanael rises thoughtfully and says, 'Brother, that would be a wonder of wonders, for the rabble of Nazareth is surely the worst in the world. With a piece of Roman tin you can make a Nazarene into whatever you wish. In this place the has not been any belief for a long time, neither in Moses nor in the prophets. In short, you can make a Nazarene into whatever you want to, and the word, 'This one or that one is even worse than a Nazarene' has already become an old saying. And you say that the Messiah whom you want me to meet is from there? - Oh well, nothing is impossible to God. We will see.'

(John 1:47) When Jesus sees Nathanael coming, he says aloud: 'Look, a true Israelite: There is nothing false in him!'

With these words Nathanael follows Philip to Jesus who meanwhile had sat down for a little rest about a hundred paces away. When both men were already close to Jesus, He says aloud, 'Look, a true Israelite; there is nothing false in him.'

(John 1:48) Nathanael asks Him: 'How do you come to know me?' Jesus replies: 'I saw you under the fig tree before Philip spoke to you.'

Nathanael is amazed at his so very true statement coming aloud from My mouth and promptly asks, 'How do you come to know me to be able to say this about me? Only God and I myself can know my innermost nature, and I was never a boaster nor did I brag about my virtues. How then can you know what I am like?' - but I look at him and say, 'I saw you under the fig tree before Philip spoke to you.'

(John 1:49) 'Rabbi,' says Nathanael, 'you are truly the Son of god: you are king of Israel!'

This My statement about him amazes Nathanael and deeply stirred in his hearts he says, 'Master! Notwithstanding the fact that you are a Nazarene, You are truly the Son of god! Yes, You are without any doubt the for a long time longed-for king of Israel who will liberate his people from the clutches of the enemies. O Nazareth, O Nazareth, how small you were an how great you are now becoming! The last will be exalted to become the first. O Lord, how quickly You granted me faith! How did this happen that all doubt has left me and I now fully believe that You are the promised Messiah?'

(John 1:50) Jesus answers, saying to Nathanael: 'You believe because I told you: I saw you under the fig tree (before Philip spoke to you). (But I tell you), you shall see greater things than that!'

I answer Nathaniel's question first with the words stated in verse 50, thereby pointing out to Nathanael that he now, to be sure, believes that I am the promised Messiah, but was compelled to believe by discovering in Me the omniscience only God can possess. I also add that in future he will be seeing greater things, whereby I wished to say as much as: Now you believe thanks to a miracle, in future you will be believing freely.

(John 1:51) And Jesus adds: 'In truth, in very truth I tell you all, from now on you shall see heaven wide open and God's angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man:'

And in truth, in very truth I tell you: From now on you will be seeing all heavens wide open and God's angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man, - which is to say as much as: In future, when through Me you will attain to the rebirth of your spirit, the doors of life will be opened. Then will you, angels yourselves, see those men who through me were made angels in the rebirth, and thereby also 'children of God,' ascending from death to eternal life. On the other hand you will also see many primordial angelic spirits descending from all the heavens to Me, the Lord of all life, there to follow the example of the Son of man, according to John's example and testimony.
So his is now the right interpretation of the first chapter, but let no one think that this is a comprehensive interpretation. Oh no, not at all; but hits gift is a practical signpost with the help of which everyone of good will can be guided into various depths of divine wisdom, enabling him to see and recognise much of life's true meaning in every single verse. Besides, as already said, this gift is a true guiding principle by which everything can be evaluated and directed.