This week’s question in the “Welcome to my World” blog challenge is: What new thing have you learned this last week?
After watching episode 2 of The Chosen, season 2, I was deeply touched by the calling of Nathanael. I’m sure those of you who have watched it could relate.
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”– Jhn 1:48 ESV
The skeptical Nathanael had made the statement earlier on that nothing good could come from Nazareth. However, these words of Jesus convinced him that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and he boldly declared it in verse 49:
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”– Jhn 1:49-50 ESV (own emphasis)
In following Jesus, as one of his disciples, Nathanael was promised that he would see even greater things. I was, however, somehow disappointed to find that Nathanael was not listed as one of the disciples of Jesus! In fact, he is not even mentioned in the first three Gospels.
So, I did some research and this is what I have found…
We find a list of the twelve disciples of Jesus in the first three Gospels (Mat. 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:13-16). In all three accounts, Bartholomew is mentioned. In Mathew he is specifically mentioned with Philip. Phillip was the one who had called Nathanael and convinced him to come and see Jesus for himself. It could therefore be assumed that Nathanael was a friend of Phillip.
Bartholomew means ‘son of Tolmai’ which would typically be a last name. Scholars therefore agree that Bartholomew was in fact Nathanael, called by his last name in the first three Gospels.
And, there you have it, the one new thing that I have learned this week: Bartholomew and Nathaneal was the same person.
I love studying the Word of God. There is always more to learn. More wisdom to be gained. More spiritual bread to eat.
By following Jesus, Nathanael did indeed see greater things. By following Jesus, we will also see greater things. You will see because you believe. In the Kingdom of God believing is seeing and not the other way round. Jesus said:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”– Mar 16:17-18 NKJV (own emphasis).
May you also see greater things in your walk with God. Follow Him and believe.
Could you perhaps add another interesting fact about Nathanael? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear it!