The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 72 of 181
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It would seem that Mary having kept all these things and pondered them in her heart,
had learned that with God all things are possible. For in John's account of the wedding at
Cana, Mary points out to her Son that there is a shortage of wine, and it is worth noting
that she makes no suggestion to Him concerning what might be done. A lesson we would
do well to learn! Often, when we see a need, we think we see the answer, and tend to
pester God for our solution. Mary presented Him with the need, and left it with Him.
Her last recorded words, her instructions to the servants on that occasion sum up all her
experiences: "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it" (John 2: 5). It is the only safe way
for all who are "highly favoured", "accepted in the Beloved":
"Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it."
pp. 77 - 80
We hear of Nathanael only twice, at the beginning, and again at the end of the Lord's
earthly ministry (John 1: 15-51 and 21: 2). Nathanael is not mentioned in either of the
other Gospels; but the other Gospel do mention one Bartholomew, while John never
mentions him.  In John 1: "Philip findeth Nathanael", which suggests, perhaps, a
somewhat closer link between them: in the other Gospels Bartholomew and Philip are
always "paired", with the result that Nathanael and Bartholomew are usually identified as
the same man. However, for the purpose of this study it is perhaps not very important as
all the references to Bartholomew are in lists of names, where Bartholomew always
occurs second to Philip.
The immediate background to Nathanael's call is the testimony of John the Baptist to
the Lord Jesus Christ, as "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world"
(John 1: 28, 36). There was, it seems a little group from Bethsaida, consisting of Peter,
Andrew, James, John, Philip and Nathanael. These men were keenly looking for the
coming of the Messiah. Two of this group who heard John's testimony, followed the
One the prophet had pointed out: one was Andrew, and possibly the other was John
(John 1: 36-40). Andrew found his brother, Peter, saying to him "we have found the
Messias", and brought him to the Lord. The following day the Lord went into Galilee
and found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me". Philip then finds Nathanael telling him:
"We have found Him, of Whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus
of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (1: 45).
This little group of men were concerned with the Word of God, they were searching
for the Truth, and for the Messiah. Philip identifies the Messiah as "Jesus of Nazareth,
the son of Joseph". Evidently Joseph was well known in the district from which they
came: Cana was roughly ten miles from Nazareth in the south, and also from Bethsaida
in the east. If Joseph was known, it is highly probable that his "son" would also be
known in the district, and, in part, accounts for Nathanael's rather less than enthusiastic