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John 1:19-51: Come and See! Follow and Find!

1:19

And this is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] the witness of John, when the Jews from Jerusalem sent [3P 1 Aor Act Indic apostello] priests and Levites in order that they might ask [3P 1 Aor Act Subj erotao] him, Who are [2S Pres Act Indic eimi] you? 20And he confessed [3S 1 Aor Act Indic homologeo], and he did not deny [3S 1 Aor Mid Indic arneomai], that I am [1S Pres Act Indic eimi] not the Christ. 21And they asked [3P 1 Aor Act Indic erotao] him, Who then? Are you Elijah? And he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego], I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic apokrinomai], No. 22 Therefore they said [3P 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, Who are you? So that we may give [1P 2 Aor Act Subj didomi] an answer to those who sent [Dat MP 1 Aor Act Part pempo] us. What do you say [2S Pres Act Indic lego] concerning yourself? 23He said [3S Impf Act Indic phemi], I am a voice crying [Gen MP Pres Act Part boao] in the wilderness, 'Make straight [2P 2 Aor Act Impv euthuno] the way of the Lord,' just as Isaiah the prophet spoke [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego].
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(Now the having-sent-ones [Nom MP Perf Act Part apostello] were [3P Impf Act Indic eimi] from the Pharisees.) 25And they asked [3P 1 Aor Act Indic erotao] him and they said [3P 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, Then why do you baptize [2S Pres Act Indic baptizo] if you are [2S Pres Act Indic eimi] not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? 26John answered [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic apokrinomai] to them, saying [Nom MS Pres Act Part lego], I baptize [1S Pres Act Indic baptizo] with (en) water, but among you he stands [3S Perf Act Indic histemi]1 whom you do not know [2P Perf Act Indic oida], 27the after me coming-one [Nom MS Pres Mid Part erchomai], who not I worthy that I might loose [1S Pres Act Subj luo] the strap of his sandal. 28These things in Bethany happened [3S 2 Aor Mid Indic ginomai], where John was [3S Impf Act Indic eimi] baptizing [Nom MS Pres Act Part baptizo].
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On the next day he sees [3S Pres Act Indic blepo] Jesus coming [Acc MS Pres Mid Part erchomai] to him, and he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego], Behold the Lamb of God who carries away [Nom MS Pres Act Part airo] the sin of the world! 30This one is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] concerning I said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego], After me is coming [3S Pres Mid Indic erchomai] a man who before me has become [3S Perf Act Indic ginomai], for before me he was [3S Impf Act Indic eimi]. 31But I did not know [1S Perf Act Indic oida] him, but in order that he might be manifested [3S 1 Aor Pass Subj phanero] to Israel, for this purpose I came [1S 2 Aor Act Indic erchomai] with water baptizing [Nom MS Pres Act Part baptizo]. 32 And John bore witness [3S 1 Aor Act Indic martureo], saying [Nom MS Pres Act Part lego] that, I saw [1S Perf Mid Indic theaomai] the Spirit descending [Acc NS Pres Act Part katabaino] as a dove from heaven and he remained [3S 1 Aor Act Indic meno] on him. 33But I did not know [1S Perf Act Indic oida] him, but the having-sent-me-one [Nom MS 1 Aor Act Part pempo] to baptize [Pres Act Inf baptizo] with water, that one to me said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego], On whoever you behold [2S 2 Aor Act Subj ido] the Spirit descending [Nom NS Pres Act Part katabaino] and remaining [Nom NS Pres Act Part meno] on him, this one is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] the baptizing-in-the-Holy-Spirit-One [Nom MS Pres Act Part baptizo]. 34But I have seen [1S Perf Act Indic horao] and I have borne witness [1S Perf Act Indic martureo] that this one is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] the Son of God.
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On the next day again John stood [3S Perf Act Indic histemi] and with (ek) two of his disciples, 36and fixing his eyes [Nom MS 1 Aor Act Part emblepo] on Jesus, who was walking [Dat MS Pres Act Part peripateo], he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego], Behold the Lamb of God! 37And the two disciples heard [3P 1 Aor Act Indic akouo] him speaking [Gen MS Pres Act Part laleo] and they followed [3P 1 Aor Act Indic akoloutheo] Jesus. 38But Jesus turned [Nom MS 2 Aor Pass Part strepho], and seeing [Nom MS 1 Aor Mid Part theaomai] them following [Acc MP Pres Act Part akoloutheo], he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to them, What are you seeking [2P Pres Act Indic zetao]? But they said [2P 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, Rabbi (which means [3S Pres Pass Indic lego] translated [Nom MS Pres Pass Part
1 Or, if textual variant stekei, then 3S Pres Act Indic steko. Both mean stand.

methermeneuo] Teacher), Where are you staying [2S Pres Act Indic meno]? 39He says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to them, Come [2P Impv Mid Indic erchomai] and you will see [2P Fut Act Indic horao]. Therefore they came [2P 2 Aor Mid Indic erchomai] and they saw [3P 2 Aor Act Indic horao] where he is staying [3S Pres Act Indic meno] and by him they stayed [3P 1 Aor Act Indic meno] that day, as it was the tenth hour. 40Andrew the brother of Simon Peter was [3S Impf Act Indic eimi] one of the two havingheard-ones [Gen MP 1 Aor Act Part akouo] from John and having-followed [Gen MP 1 Aor Act Part akoloutheo] him. 41This one finds [3S Pres Act Indic heurisko] first his brother Simon and he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, We have found [1P Perf Act Indic heurisko] the Messiah, which is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] translated [Nom MS Pres Pass Part methermeneuo] Christ. 42He brought [3S 2 Aor Act Indic ago] him to Jesus. Jesus, fixing his eyes [Nom MS 1 Aor Act Part emblepo] on him, said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego], You are [2S Pres Act Indic eimi] Simon the son of John, you will be called [2S Fut Pass Indic kaleo] Cephas, which means [3S Pres Pass Indic hermeneuo] Peter.
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On the next day, he decided [3S 1 Aor Act Indic ethelo] to go out [2 Aor Act Inf exerchomai] to Galilee and he finds [3S Pres Act Indic heurisko] Philip. And Jesus says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, Follow [2S Pres Act Impv akoloutheo] me. 44Now Philip was [3S Impf Act Indic eimi] from Bethsaida, from the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip finds [3S Pres Act Indic heurisko] Nathanael and says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, The One whom Moses wrote [3S 1 Aor Act Indic grapho] in the Law and also the Prophets we have found [1P Perf Act Indic heurisko], Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth. 46And Nathanael said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, From Nazareth something is able [3S Pres Mid Indic dunamai] to be [Pres Act Inf eimi] good? Philip says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, Come [2S Pres Mid Impv erchomai] and see [2S 2 Aor Act Impv horao]. 47Jesus saw [3S 2 Aor Act Indic horao] Nathanael coming [Acc MS Pres Mid Part erchomai] toward him, and he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] concerning him, Behold, a true Israelite in whom deceit is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] not! 48Nathanael says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, How do you know [2S Pres Act Indic ginosko] me? Jesus answered [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic apokrinomai] and said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, Before Philip called [1 Aor Act Inf phoneo] you, your-being [Acc MS Pres Act Part eimi] the tree, I saw [1S 2 Aor Act Indic horao] you. 49Nathanael answered [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic apokrinomai] him, Rabbi, you are [2S Pres Act Indic eimi] the Son of God; you are the king of Israel! 50Jesus answered [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic apokrinomai] and said [3S 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to him, Because I said [1S 2 Aor Act Indic lego] to you that I saw [1S 2 Aor Act Indic horao] you under the tree, you believe [2S Pres Act Indic pisteuo]? Greater than these you will see [2S Fut Act Indic horao]. 51And he says [3S Pres Act Indic lego] to him, Amen, amen I say [1S Pres Act Indic lego] to you, you will see [2P Fut Act Indic horao] heaven having-beenopened [Acc MS Perf Act Part anoigo] and the angels of God ascending [Acc MP Pres Act Part anabaino] and descending [Acc MP Pres Act Part katabaino] upon the Son of Man.

Comment Testimony of John the Baptist Behold the Lamb of God! 1:19-34 Jesus is the Coming One 1:19-28 The one who came as a witness, to bear witness (John 1:7) now offers his explicit testimony concerning the Christ. What is interesting is that John the Baptist seems more concerned with denying that he is the Christ than in asserting who he actually is. Obviously, if someone asked me whether I were some rich, famous, important person (Are you the President?), I would certainly deny it; however, if someone asked me Who are you? (v. 19), I would want to tell people about me rather than bearing witness about how I am not the President. Certainly, part of the reason for this is that people must have begun to confuse John with the Christ. These priests and Levites have come to investigate whether that is the case, and John sees his first priority as denying such an idea. More than that, he is also not Elijah, nor the Prophet that Moses prophesied. Lenski points out the subtle way in which John introduces us to John: Without further ceremony we are introduced to the Baptist at the very height of his ministry and his influence. Not a word is added describing the Baptist's person and his appearance, his mode of life in the desert, his message in general, and his Baptism. We are supposed to know in advance also how the excitement grew to huge proportions among the people until they flocked in thousands to the lonely desert region, and until even the central authorities of the nation at Jerusalem felt constrained by the volume and the character of the reports to send out an official committee to make a firsthand investigation. The evangelist at once places us at the dramatic moment when before the gathered multitudes out in the wilderness this official committee faced the Baptist and received his telling answers to their questions.2 There is, however, something bigger herea seed that we will see blossom in chapter 3. John's attitude concerning Jesus is that He must increase, but I must decrease. He has an important ministry at the moment, yes, but the whole orientation of his life is to cry out in the wilderness, urging people the Make straight the way of the Lord, baptizing with water as he awaits the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. And as Lenski notes, In the Baptist's reply the entire stress is on his work and office, none on his person. He is merely a voice with a message.3 We must see our own ministries in the same waywhat we do is important, yes, but only important in that we are preparing the way for the coming of Jesus, the infinitely worthy One. The offices and roles we hold, and the work that we do, are all for Jesus, and none for our own personal glory. Lenski also makes a compelling case, on the basis of grammar, that v. 24 should be translated thusly: Now some Pharisees had been commissioned, rather than Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. The text reads kai apestalmenoi esan ek ton Pharisaion, and Lenski argues that the phrase ek tou Pharisaion should be understood as partitive (e.g., some Pharisees, a part of the whole). It miscontrues the text, he argues, to insert a hoi before apestalmenoi (Now those sent were from the Pharisees). Then, he explains the significance:

2 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 105. 3 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 113.

The real situation, then, is that the committee of the Sanhedrin had ended its inquiry and stepped aside. In addition to this committee the Pharisaic party in Jerusalem had sent a representation of its own....The explanation that the men who now speak are Pharisees is necessary for the understanding of the question which they put to the Baptist. They were of the party which laid utmost stress on the strictest outward observance of the law, around which they had also built up a forbidding hedge of traditions and human commandments. They were utterly self-righteous and cultivated a formalism that was ostentatious to a degree, especially in observing ceremonies, fastings, almsgivings, long prayers, tithes, etc. The Saduccees were freethinkers, skeptics, usually men of wealth and prominence, and given to loose and luxurious living. The people reverenced the Pharisees for their supposed holiness and for their zeal regardin the law; and even the Sadduccees had to accommodate themselves to their demands in many ways. 25) The question now asked is one that would naturally occur to Pharisees. While the committee of Sadduccees is silent and has nothing more to say, these Pharisees note what seems to them an unauthorized and thus illegal act on the part of the Baptist.4 Calvin offers a wise assessment of John's perspective on his own ministry: This answer may be reduced to two heads: first, that John claims nothing for himself but what he has a right to claim, because he has Christ for the Author of his baptism, in which consists the truth of the sign; and, secondly, that he has nothing but the administration of the outward sign, while the whole power and efficacy is in the hands of Christ alone. Thus he defends his baptism so far as its truth depends on anything else; but, at the same time, by declaring that he has not the power of the Spirit, he exalts the dignity of Christ, that the eyes of men may be fixed on him alone. This is the highest and best regulated moderation, when a minister borrows from Christ whatever authority he claims for himself, in such a manner as to trace it to him, ascribing to him alone all that he possesses. It is a foolish mistake, however, into which some people have been led, of supposing that Johns baptism was different from ours; for John does not argue here about the advantage and usefulness of his baptism, but merely compares his own person with the person of Christ. In like manner, if we were inquiring, at the present day, what part belongs to us, and what belongs to Christ, in baptism, we must acknowledge that Christ alone performs what baptism figuratively represents, and that we have nothing beyond the bare administration of the sign. There is a twofold way of speaking in Scripture about the sacraments; for sometimes it tells us that they are the laver of regeneration, (Titus 3:5;) that by them our sins are washed away, (1 Peter 3:21;) that we are in-grafted into the body of Christ, that our old man is crucified, and that we rise again to newness of life, (Romans 6:4, 5, 6;) and, in those cases, Scripture joins the power of Christ with the ministry of man; as, indeed, man is nothing else than the hand of Christ. Such modes of expression show, not what man can of himself accomplish, but what Christ performs by man, and by the sign, as his instruments. But as there is a strong tendency to fall into superstition, and as men, through the pride which is natural to them, take from God the honor due to him, and basely appropriate it to themselves; so Scripture, in order to restrain this blasphemous arrogance, sometimes distinguishes ministers from Christ, as in this passage, that we may learn that ministers are nothing and can do nothing.5 Thus, John's response defuses the situation. While the Pharisees expected the Messiah, and only the Messiah, to baptize, they were only partially correct. John's baptism, he tells them, is water baptism. Anotherwhose strap John is not worthy to loosewill come later. John is not the Christ, but his baptism is valid and legitimate, even if not ultimate. Lenski sums this thought up this way:
4 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 114-15. 5 John Calvin, Commentary on John, vol. I <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom34.vii.vi.html>.

To baptize with water simply says that John is using a means of grace. This both marks his person and defines his work. The Messiah will both be a far greater person and will do a far greater work. As the God-man he will redeem the world and will furnish a cleansing that is far beyond any cleansing that any mere man, be he Elijah, that prophet, or the Baptist himself, could provide. Christ's redemption is the basis of the means of grace. Without this redemption no means of grace would exist. Thus with the simplest kind of statement the Baptist conveys the thought that he is nothing but a man, and that his work consists in applying a means of grace that rests on a far mightier act.6 And, as you might expect, Augustine preached no fewer than three sermons on the validity of baptism against the Donatists from this passage, arguing that our Holy Spirit baptism is from Christ, regardless of whether our water baptism is from John or Judas.7 Finally, don't miss the subtle hint in this section that gives a clue to a theme in this section of the Gospel: Jesus is the Coming One (v. 27). In the second half of chapter 1, there is a huge amount of coming and going (even in this small section, the priests and the Levites are sent from Jerusalem (v. 19), and sent from the Pharisees (v. 24)). There is much movement and activity, but John testifies to the only movement worth considering: that among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. Lenski writes: The participial clause is a duplicate of the one used in v. 15, and it occurs again with a finite verb in 30, showing that the Baptist more than once used it with reference to Jesus. Throughout the verb forms erchomenos and erchetai are significantly Messianic and must have been so understood by those who heard John speak. This Coming One is vastly greater than John, which shows how seriously mistaken they were who thought John might be he, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. The sandal was fastened to the foot by a leather strap, himas, latchet. When an honored guest or the master of the house himself entered, it was the task of the humblest slave in the house to unfasten the straps, remove the shoes, bathe the feet, and cleanse the shoes. With this imagery John compares himself and Jesus. Did many consider John wonderfully great? He himself says that he is nothing compared with Jesus.8 Jesus is the Lamb of God 1:29-34 John's testimony is incomplete while he can only speak in negatives: I am not Elijah. I am not the Prophet. I am not the Christ. The next day, however, he is able to give a full testimony when he sees Jesus coming toward him, and declares, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! There are three major aspects of John's testimony concerning Jesus: 1. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Even from the beginning of Jesus' ministry, John recognizes that Jesus would give his life sacrificially to atone for the sin of the world. Just as thousands of lambs had been slaughtered on the altar at the temple to atone for the sin of Israel, so Jesus would be slaughtered at the cross to atone for the sin of the world.
6 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 117. 7 Augustine, Tractate IV, in Homilies on the Gospel of John <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.v.html>; Tractate V, <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.vi.html>; and Tractate VI, <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.vii.html>. 8 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 122.

2. John bears witness concerning the Spirit's witness concerning Jesus. John testifies that he sees the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him (1:32). God's own Spirit authenticates Jesus for this ministry. In particular, John notes that the authentication of the Spirit marks Jesus as he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (1:33). The ministry of Jesus will be marked by his ability to baptize with the Holy Spirit, rather than water alone. 3. John's testimony in a nutshell is in v. 34: And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. From the synoptic gospels, we can infer that John is describing the scene at Jesus' water baptism; however, that is not explicitly stated in this Gospel. Also, we should note that this section contains the beginnings of another major theme of the passage: seeing. Not only does John direct our sight to Jesus as the Lamb of God (Behold!), but John also sees the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus as a dove (v. 32), and seeing this is the criteria for identifying Jesus as the Holy Spirit Baptizer (v. 33). Not only that, but John somewhat oddly declares that I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God (v. 34). I probably would have stated that I know or I learned or I discovered, but John speaks in terms of his sight: I have seen! Testimony of Andrew Come and see! 1:35-42 I love the fact that John is so completely overwhelmed with Jesus! The word in v. 36 to describe how John looks at Jesus is actually much stronger than a mere glance. The word describes John fixing his eyes on Jesus. John has seen that Jesus is the Son of God, on whom the Holy Spirit rests, and he longs to fix his eyes on Jesus. He again bursts out, directing our sight with his to Jesus: Behold, the Lamb of God! The difference this time around, though, is that he makes two converts for Jesusfrom his own disciples! Upon hearing the testimony of John, these disciples begin to follow Jesus. Jesus, though, perhaps to test them in some way, asks them what it is that they are seeking. Lenski comments on Jesus' inquiry: Jesus does not inquire whom they seek but, What are you seeking? This first word spoken by Jesus is a master question. It bids them look searchingly at their inmost longings [page] and desires. We are accustomed to seek what we have lost, or what otherwise is beneficial or desirable for us. But what was there more desirable, more longed for during forty centuries past on the part of so many illustrious men, the patriarchs, judges, kings, prophets, and all the saints of the Old Testament, than this Lamb of God, which John's testimony on the heights between the Old and the New Testament declared to be present at last? Calov. Many are seeking what they should not, and others are not seeking what they should. Let us, too, face this question of Jesus in order that we may cast out all self-seeking, all seeking of ease in Zion, all worldly ambition even in churchly things, all unworthy aims, and rise to the height of our calling both as believers and as the called servants of the Lord, and let us help to confront others with this same question that they, too, may find in Jesus what he came to bring. For a hidden promise lies in the question, What are you seeking? Jesus has the highest treasure any man can seek, longs to direct our seeking toward that treasure in order that he may bestow it for our everlasting enrichment. Note how this verb seek corresponds to the verb we have found in v. 41 and 45.9 They respond with a strange question: Rabbi, where are you staying? They are trying to seek out Jesus' lodging? It seems, rather, that they wanted to spend more time with Jesus. Lenski confirms this: In the

9 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 145-46.

question, 'Where art thou staying?' lies the desire to have a private, undisturbed conversation with Jesus regarding the high thoughts and hopes which had begun to stir their hearts.10 Calvin takes this one step further: Where dwellest thou? By this example we are taught that from the first, rudiments of the Church we ought to draw such a relish for Christ as will excite our desire to profit; and next, that we ought not to be satisfied with a mere passing look, but that we ought to seek his dwelling, that he may receive us as guests. For there are very many who smell the gospel at a distance only, and thus allow Christ suddenly to disappear, and all that they have learned concerning him to pass away. And though those two persons did not at that time become his ordinary disciples, yet there can be no doubt that, during that night, he instructed them more fully, so that they soon afterwards became entirely devoted to him.11 Jesus graciously responds, Come and you will see. Note first that Jesus uses the words Come and See in his response, continuing to increase their priority in this passage. Then, note that Philip gives essentially the same response to a skeptical Nathanael later in this chapter: Come and see (1:46). Lenski directs our attention to the anonymous disciple who followed Jesus with Andrew: Involuntarily we ask: Who was the other of the two? and why is he not also named here? We know the answer: The other is John, the Apostle, himself, who never mentions his own name in his Gospel nor the name of any of his relatives.12 Lenski also reads carefully into the phrase, Andrew found first his own brother Simon... (v. 41): Nothing is said directly concerning himself [i.e., concerning John] and his brother James. And yet truth compelled John to intimate something concerning himself. The reading proton, which some prefer, should give way to protos. If we keep the adverb, an incongruity results, for Andrew is then said to find first, as if he did something else nextyet nothing else is reported. If we use the adjective we learn that Andrew as the first of the two disciples mentioned finds his own brother, leading us to infer that John, as the second of the two, was a close second also in finding his own brother. And this is the actual story.13 After staying with Jesus that day, Andrew leaves to find his brother Simon Peter. Once he finds his brother, his testimony is fascinating: We have found the Messiah! (Note the double-use of find in the verse. Find is an important word in this passage as well.) Then, Andrew brings Simon (that is, he causes Simon to come) to Jesus, and Jesus looks (this is the fixing his eyes verb rather than the simple horao) at him and gives him a new name: Peter. The Testimony of Philip Follow and Find! 1:43-51 Again the next day (these four paragraphs constitute four consecutive days), Jesus goes to Galilee. In the previous paragraph, Jesus gained disciples somewhat passively from John's witness. In this paragraph, however, we read that Jesus himself finds Philip and says to him, Follow me. Of the verb form, Lenski

10 11 12 13

R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 147. John Calvin, Commentary on John, vol. I <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom34.vii.viii.html>. R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 151. R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 152.

wisely notes that The present imperative, akolouthei moi is durative to express a continuous course of action.14 Philip, in turn, finds Nathanael and tells him, We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph! The we apparently refers to Andrew and Peter, in addition to Philip, for v. 44 tells us that Philip is from Bethsaida, the same city as those other two. Upon Nathanael's skepticism (Can anything good come out of Nazareth?), Philip responds simply: Come and see (1:46). As noted earlier, his words echo Jesus' words to John's two disciples in v. 39: Come and you will see. Calvin draws a beautiful pastoral teaching moment from Philip's poor doctrine: We have found Jesus. How small was the measure of Philips faith appears from this circumstance, that he cannot utter a few words about Christ without mingling with them two gross errors. He calls him the son of Joseph, and says, that Nazareth was his native town, both of which statements were false; and yet, because he is sincerely desirous to do good to his brother, and to make Christ known, God approves of this instance of his diligence, and even crowns it with good success. Each of us ought, no doubt, to endeavor to keep soberly within his own limits; and, certainly, the Evangelist does not mention it as worthy of commendation in Philip, that he twice disgraces Christ, but relates that his doctrine, though faulty and involved in error, was useful, because it nevertheless had this for its object, that Christ might be truly known. He foolishly says that he was the son of Joseph, and ignorantly calls him a native of Nazareth, but yet he leads Nathanael to no other than the Son of God who was born in Bethlehem, (Matthew 2:1,) and does not contrive a false Christ, but only wishes that they should know him as he was exhibited by Moses and the Prophets. We see, then, that the chief design of doctrine is, that those who hear us should come to Christ in some way or other.15 Jesus quickly impresses Nathanael by first declaring him to be an Israelite in whom there is no deceit, and telling him that he saw Nathanael before Philip called him under the fig tree. Nathanael's response is similar to that of John the Baptist's from 1:34: Rabbi, you are the son of God! You are the King of Israel! (1:49). Jesus' response is marked with humor: Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these....Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (1:50-51).

14 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John's Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 161. 15 John Calvin, Commentary on John, vol. I <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom34.vii.x.html>.