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BACKGROUND: Look where Bethany (1:28), Bethsaida (1:44) and Nazareth (1:46) are situated on the map. The Old Testament does not refer to Nazareth with messianic prophecies except that the word “branch” is very similar to the word “Nazarene” in Hebrew (Is.11:1, 53:2, Jer.23:5, 33:15). The leader should read the story of Jacob’s ladder (Gen.28:10-22) beforehand, because the last question refers to it
  1. Why did Philip want to tell his friend immediately about Jesus, whom he only just had met (verses 43-45)?
    • Recall the time you first came to know Jesus. Did you want to tell others what you had found? Explain why you felt this way.
  2. What made Nathanael doubt the words of Philip?
    • Why did Nathanael nevertheless go to see Jesus?
  3. What did Jesus mean by the words with which he greeted Nathanael (verse 47)?
    • How do you think Nathanael felt upon hearing Jesus’ greeting?
    • How would you feel if Jesus said to you today: “Here is a true Christian, in whom there is nothing false”?
  4. Nathanael was really surprised to hear that Jesus knew what had happened under the fig tree. Think of various possibilities for what Nathanael had been thinking or praying there.
  5. Recall what you thought when you were alone recently. How do you feel upon realizing that Jesus also was there and could read your thoughts like an open book?
    • What can it mean for a human being that somebody else sees their real self?
  6. The word of Jesus in verse 47 are an indirect quotation from Psalms 32:1-2 (the leader may read these two verses). How, according to these verses, can someone become so upright that there is nothing false in their heart?
  7. On what ground does Nathaniel all of a sudden call Jesus the Son of God and the King of Israel (verse 49)?
  8. The leader may summarize Gen.28:10-22 here. What does Jesus mean by verses 50 to 51? Think of various possibilities.
    • What does Jacob’s ladder have in common with the cross of Jesus?

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