Rabbi, Son of God, King of Israel … Who Do You Say He Is?
Let’s read John 1:43-51 and SOAP John 1:49
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!”John 1:49
I found it difficult to read this passage and not get caught up in all of the details. I underlined and circled and colored in words. Words and phrases that gave insight into Jesus’ interest in those around Him and His willingness and purposefulness in seeking them out. I love seeing the way He interacted and communicated with these men – men that would ultimately become His companions and friends. I love the way He saw them before they saw Him and how He revealed Himself and even dealt with the ‘doubter” subtly. I watched with interest as the men began to share Him with others- to approach Him and respond to Him. Jesus was connecting with them – setting the stage – perhaps cultivating the soil of their hearts and minds
Then there’s our focus verse where Nathanael moves from his platform of questioning – “what good could come from Nazareth?” (46) – to declaring Jesus, from Nazareth, to be not just a Rabbi (teacher) but the Son of God, and even The King of Israel, (49). What moved Nathanael from snarky doubter to firm believer? I believe it was because Jesus met him where he was. He saw him under the fig tree before Philip found him and by the words Jesus spoke in verse 47, He apparently heard his snarky, if not rude and judgmental comment about those from Nazareth – and yet He did not turn away from him but engaged with him. Actually, it is believed by some that the comment of verse 47 was meant to be a gentle response to Nathanael’s words in 46, a reminder to him of the wrongness of judging someone by their heritage. Which, by Nathanael’s reply, “How do you know about me?”, did not go unnoticed but rather seems to have moved Nathanael’s heart to believe. (Visit https://www.bibleref.com/John/1/John-1-47.html for more)
So, who do you say Jesus is? Is he simply a teacher? Do you know Him as the Son of God who came to save the world? Do you recognize Him as the King of the Jews? Or, like Nathanael, do you proclaim Jesus is all of these things and more?