One of the two who heard John [i.e. John the Baptist] speak and followed Him [i.e.Jesus], was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 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.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
– John 1:40-51 (emphasis added)
The individuals mentioned in this passage were part of the twelve. The passage reveals a lot about how the Bible deals with names and identities, which explains the five parts I’ve emphasized.
- Confirms something you already know: that “Messiah” and “Christ” mean the same thing.
- Shows you that “Peter” was a nickname given him by Jesus. It means “rock.”
- Indicates how, even early on, the disciples’ conception of Jesus was shaped by the Old Testament.
- This is just a standard first-century Jewish way of saying, “You’re the Messiah” – though their understanding of what that would ultimately mean was quite limited.
- Demonstrates that we should always interpret Bible prophecy seriously and meaningfully, but not always literally.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, all Your names have good reasons behind them…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)