Believing is Seeing
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Heaven on Earth

John 1:43-51

In the first chapter of John, Philip introduces Nathanael to Jesus. Jesus greets Nathanael in a familiar way and Nathanael questions Jesus as to how Jesus knows who he is. Jesus answers by telling Nathanael exactly what he was doing when Philip found him. Immediately, Nathanael recognizes and believes that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and he confesses that belief publically.

Jesus then tells Nathanael that because he believed, that he would “see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (vs. 51). This statement is in reference to the dream that Jacob had in Genesis 28 that represented God’s abundant protection, provision, and presence in his life. In essence, Jesus promised that Nathanael would now be able to see the miraculous power of heaven at work on his behalf on earth.

Nathanael believed and confessed in both the person and work of Jesus Christ. This was key to understanding this interchange and it was his open confession of faith that occurred before Jesus promised that Nathanael would see the miraculous happen. As believers, we must know that if we are not willing to confess Jesus Christ publicly, then we are not in the position to receive the benefits of doing so. Jesus responded to Nathanael’s belief and confession of belief in Him.

Getting Started
  1. When did you come to believe and confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord of your life? Share how you came to know Jesus with your group.

  2. Nathanael publicly confessed his belief in Christ. Since your initial confession, how do you continually confess with your mouth or with the way you live your life that Jesus is Lord?

Let’s Get Personal
  1. In what areas of your life have you held back from confessing publicly that Jesus is the Lord of your life?

  2. Take time to read John 2:1-12. As one of Jesus disciples, what did Nathanael get to witness? How does this agree with Jesus’ promise to him from chapter one?

  3. Reflect on how Jesus has already responded to your faith. Have you experienced God’s abundant protection, provision, and presence in your life?

Take the Next Step
  1. Jesus doesn’t commit Himself equally to all believers. Some of His activity in our lives is based on our willingness to be identified with Him. Read Matthew 10:33 and John 2:22-24 (with special attention to verse 24). What does Jesus activity in your life look like based on your identification with Jesus at this point in your walk with Him?

  2. Do you know what biblical promises Jesus has made for you? Check out this wonderful list of promises from Scripture courtesy of Dr. Charles Stanley and In Touch Ministries can be found at intouch.org/you/gods-promises. You can also check out DailyBiblePromise.com to have a promise from the Bible sent to you daily via email, Twitter, or RSS.

  3. Read Genesis 28:10-22 individually or with your group. This is the story of Jacob’s dream of the ladder from heaven and God’s promises to Jacob. If God opens the windows of heaven for you, what do you think that would mean in your life?

Renew Your Mind
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened… John 1:51

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