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At the very dawn of His ministry, Jesus is greeted with words that remind Him of his destiny: His sacrificial agony on the cross for the sin of mankind. The shadow of the cross was cast over the entire ministry of Jesus. So, when John says He was before me , he refers to the eternal pre-existence of Jesus. John knew very well that Jesus was God. Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit : God gave John the Baptist the sure sign to know the Messiah.
He would be the one on Whom the Holy Spirit descended upon from heaven. John is a reliable witness regarding who Jesus is, because he has had confirming evidence from God. He is the Son of God in the sense shown in John : the One who perfectly declares the nature and personality of God the Father. The gospel of John emphasizes John's role as a witness, not a baptizer.
Witnesses give testimony as to what they have seen and experienced, in an effort to establish the truth. Beyond that, they are unreliable, and operate on hearsay. Witnesses are not neutral - they are committed to the truth of their testimony, or they are unreliable witnesses.
John is a reliable witness, and knows who Jesus is because of what he has seen with his own eyes. Jhn Two of John's disciples begin to follow Jesus. Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?
Behold, the Lamb of God! John already said this of Jesus in John Did he say this every time he saw Jesus? It was a vivid reminder of Jesus' destiny at the cross. And they followed Jesus : John did not care about gathering disciples after himself. He was perfectly satisfied to have these disciples leave his circle and follow Jesus.
It fulfilled his ministry; it did not take away from it. Come and see : Jesus invited John and Andrew to be a part of His life. Jesus didn't life a cloistered, ultra-private life. Jesus taught and discipled others by allowing them to live with Him. Now it was about the tenth hour : This was such a memorable occasion for writer that he remembered the exact hour that he met Jesus.http://bythesea.makingsense.com/15.php
How should we interpret the Bible?
This is a subtle clue that one of the two disciples who came to Jesus from John was the apostle John himself. Jhn Andrew brings his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" which is translated, the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus. You shall be called Cephas" which is translated, A Stone.
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He found his own brother : It is the nature of Christian experience that those who enjoy the experience desire to share their experience with others. At the time, and throughout the gospel, Peter may have looked like a "rock" on the outside, but was really anything but a rock. But before Jesus is done with Peter, he will be a stone of stability for Jesus Christ.
We have found the Messiah : This Andrew's testimony about who Jesus is. He knows that Jesus is the Messiah. Jhn Jesus calls Philip to follow Him. Follow Me : There is nothing dramatic recorded about the call of Philip.
Philosophy of Religion
Jesus simply says " Follow Me ," and Philip does. Jhn Nathaniel overcomes prejudice to follow Jesus. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote; Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. You are the King of Israel! You will see greater things than these. Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote : This is Philip's testimony as a witness of Jesus Christ.
Bibliography in: The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? With this, Nathanael prejudices himself against Jesus. If Jesus comes from Nazareth, that is all Nathanael cares to know about Him! Come and see : Instead of arguing against Nathanael's prejudice, Phillip simply invites him to meet Jesus for himself.
Under the fig tree, I saw you : It is possible Nathanael liked to pray and meditate on the things of the Lord under the shade of an actual fig tree.