The DEEP

Training

Always training.

John 1:43–50

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, 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.”

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom 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 and said to 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, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”

Things continue to develop incredibly rapidly. Two words—“Follow Me”—are all it takes to recruit Philip. Then, again, we hear the line, “Come and see.” It’s like the ultimate apologetic comeback. If someone sounds skeptical, just invite them to see for themselves. They can’t argue with that.

And Nathaniel gets quite an eyeful—actually an earful—as Jesus speaks of things that He shouldn’t be able to know. This blows Nathaniel’s mind and he blurts out a confession of faith.

But Jesus doesn’t just let that go at that. Why does he continue to press the issue? Why, in this incredibly fast-paced scene, does He stop to elaborate?

Nathaniel’s newfound faith still needs to grow and mature. Jesus is setting up Nathaniel (and everyone within earshot) to recognize and remember important signs. They’re going to need this later.

He’s already preparing them for martyrdom.


One of the things I love about Sherlock Holmes is that he’s on a different wavelength. Sometimes, while everyone else is perfectly calm, he will just up and announce, “This is dangerous.” Other times, he is totally sanguine while everyone else is worried. His vast understanding makes everything different.

Jesus is that on steroids. He has a totally different set of priorities, plus He’s three steps ahead of everyone else. Here it looks like He’s just recruiting disciples.

In reality, He’s been training them from the get-go.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.