Come and See BY Malusi Skunyana
Read John 1:43-51
JOHN 1:43. The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
JOHN 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
JOHN 1:45 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.
JOHN 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
JOHN 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
JOHN 1:48 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.
JOHN 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
JOHN 1:50 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.
JOHN 1:51 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.
It is crucial for one to experience Jesus for himself. The testimony of another, though valuable, is not good enough in itself, as nothing can be a suitable substitute to having your own personal encounter with Jesus the Saviour. This, for me, is the crucial point of the passage we have just read.
Jesus Himself took the initiative in finding Philip, as verse 43 shows, introducing Himself with the two words, “Follow Me.” The two words evidently were sufficient for Philip to follow Jesus without hesitation. In this very first encounter with Jesus, Philip was convinced “this is the One.” Philip followed and became a seeker of others, though as yet he did not know much. To Nathanael he could only speak of “Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth;” and then invited him “Come and see.” He could not make a convincing theological argument, but clearly he was convinced Jesus was just what he needed – He was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and he believed that Nathanael needed a personal experience with Jesus too.
So Philip succeeded in bringing Nathanael to Jesus. Jesus did not wait for Nathanael to interview Him in order to discover who He was, but again Jesus took the initiative, and by His opening exclamation as to Nathanael revealed Himself as the Discerner of the hearts of men. Here was an Israelite, not without sin, but without guile; that is, without deceit or dishonesty. Here was a man who was straight and honest in his spirit before God, and very sincere in his search and longing for the Messiah. Nathanael was startled by Jesus’ clear knowledge of him and was led to ask, “How do you know me?” Jesus’ answer showed that He was more than just another man. He was of a divine nature, just as truly divine as He was truly human. The Lord was showing Himself to be the Judge of all, before whom all men are naked and open, who can put every man in his proper place. Nathanael had come to see a “Jesus of Nazareth,” and he discovered One who knew all about him and read him through and through like an open book. Who could this Jesus be?
Nathanael’s answer in verse 49 was, “You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” As an earnest and godly Israelite he was waiting for the King – the Messiah, but this One was the Messiah and MORE. Evidently this One must be the Son of God. Then note how in verse 50 Jesus accepted Nathanael’s homage as not misplaced but as the fruit of faith.
The testimony of Philip spoke of “Jesus of Nazareth,” but in his own encounter with Jesus Nathanael came face to face with the “Son of God!” Dear friend, nothing is more important than having your own experience with Jesus. After you have heard the testimony of another, do not be satisfied; move on to have your own personal encounter with Jesus. This is the experience that will transform your life. Seek your own encounter – your personal experience – with Jesus, and your life will never be the same again! May God richly bless you in your search for Him! Amen!