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July 27, 2022 4:00 am
So we meet Nathaniel Bartholomew, seeker of truth prejudiced but not bound by it.
A man of prayer amount of meditation amendment to complete surrender to Christ. A man with a keen mind and heart of faith he saw. He understood Jesus promised him the most wonderful revelations, and everything he saw. From then on he knew was heaven cycles and odds are for some of them that may be all you ever learned about them and yet Scripture sheds more light on men like Philip and Bartholomew than you might realize on this addition of grace to you.
John MacArthur looks at the lives of those two overlooked disciples. In the example that they are for us even to this day it's part of his continuing series of character studies titled the Masters men. So grab your Bible and turn to Matthew chapter 10 as John starts with a bit of a review from yesterday's lesson that Jesus never intended to go through the work of proclaiming the kingdom alone.
That's why when he began his ministry he began it not only by preaching and teaching, but by training men with him at the same time, he began his ministry he never intended to be alone with it.
He was training them all the while, so that when he left. They carried on. And these are the ones he chose. Now let's look first of all it Philip the three gospel say nothing about it just his name. Nothing else but John's Gospel mentions him four times. Go to chapter 12 verse 20 there were certain Greeks would come down to Jerusalem for the feast. They were God-fearing Greeks come for the Passover and they come because they had been devoted use of Judaism then heard about Christ and they came to Philip because he was the great connection he had a Greek name. Probably this reasoning and the desire to sing Sir, we would see Jesus well.
Philip may have been approachable, may have been a warmhearted fella, but he didn't take Jesus he said, in effect, now you guys wait here.
I don't know if this is kosher.
I don't know if this can happen. I gotta go check so he goes and tells Andrew. Together they go know we learn about the he was not decisive he was not forced to grab those Gentiles and drag him into the presence of Jesus. These guys want to see you but not Philip. Check it out.
Check out someone else was bothering he was still living in chapter 10 of Matthew at the way.
At the beginning when the Lord and said I am come. But for the lost sheep of the house of what this thing. These are Jenny's you know that it's not in the minutes to bring the Gentiles. I don't think the Constitution allows it.
The bylaws you know the Lord. Sandy's not come with the lost with the Z had no sense of the bigger vision. He didn't get the message of grace.
Yes, he came as the Messiah, to Israel, but he had also said clear back in chapter 6 him that cometh unto me I will in no wise what cast out. I mean the spirit of the thing, he still gone by the code you know he still analyzing everything still going by the book is a literalist. This little dinky focus is no precedent for this none of the code we missed the whole vision of grace to me. I mean the he said we found the Messiah but beyond that he didn't really have a clue what was going on. Finally we see them in chapter 14 it is better. It's worse if you can believe this. Three years later. Verse eight Philip says to Jesus. Here the other night before his this is the Passover. This is the communion you know this is the time he's unfolding his heart to his disciples go to be arrested and crucified, and so forth. Right after this.
It's all coming to an end and show us the father and that will be sufficient. Jesus said to him how long do I have to be with you before you know me fella boy this guy is really a class to his spiritual vision is nil.
Everything is superficial with he that hath seen me hath seen the father and how can you possibly be saying three years later. So was the father leave is now not that I am in the father and the father in me. Don't you believe that Philip and the words that I speak of you I speak not of myself with the father dwells in me you do with the works. Believe me that I'm in the father and the father in me or else believe me for the very works sake funny. My words are my works haven't they told you something fella. Oh what puny faith. What a dull character, show us the father. He is the leader of the ignorant, and slow of heart three years Philip gazed into the only face of God. Men never saw any still to know who was he's not Phi Beta Kappa. Isn't it wonderful that the Lord uses those kind of people aren't you thrilled I am. He's no genius. He didn't get lesson one. Jesus is God, three years he didn't get it. He needs to be an remedial class basic is alluded. He is so skeptical someone convinced here is a man of limited ability. Here is a man of inadequate faith. Here is a man of imperfect understanding.
Here is a matter fooled around with numbers instead of meditating here is a matter was stuck on the level of rules and codes and stuff instead of seeing God and someday he's going to rain over the tribes of Israel in the regeneration is going to inherit gloriously in the kingdom beyond what he would ever dreamed pessimistic, reluctant, insecure, unsure analytical skeptical man saw facts and figures and missed the big picture of power and grace is face was limited by money circumstances and proof you want tradition tells us about this dear fella got his act together and he wound up dying as a martyr for Christ. He wouldn't deny any said he only had one request and that is that when he was dead. They not wrap his body and linen like his Lord because he wasn't worthy of that.
Aren't you glad God uses the slow, the faithless and the analytical skeptics because some of us find ourselves in one more fella and he's only introduced to us in one passage and then we just lose him the rest of the time. His name is Bartholomew and Matthew 10 Bartholomew but that was his last name. His first name was Nathaniel Bartholomew. By the way, means bar called my son of tall mind Nathaniel, son of Toma, to name's is first in his last. Nathaniel means gift of God, son of tall my and he was so different than his friend Philip. He was full of faith and he was so contemplative and so meditative and so in all the supernatural, and he perceived everything is clear as crystal. From the very beginning. He came from Cana of Galilee, again from a little village in Galilee. He was brought to Jesus by Philip so he was acquainted with the rest of the gang and only one passage in the Bible tells us about them.
It's John one let's go back to verse 43 I think you going to find them fascinating. It says in verse 43. The Jesus went forth to Galilee and found Philip and told Philip to follow him. In verse 45 then says Philip finds Nathaniel or Bartholomew and said to him, we found you Moses in the law and the prophets did right in his name is Jesus of Nazareth and he is bar Joseph, the son of Joseph. That was Astellas. Well, it implies that Nathaniel was a searcher of Scripture and a seeker after divine truth. It tells us that Nathaniel would've known messianic prophecy and studied it because the way that Philip approaches him is here is the one the Scripture told us about the implication being that Nathaniel was a student of Scripture. A further implication. I believe being that Philip and Nathaniel had probably spent hours and hours and hours studying together.
The Old Testament as they together were looking for the Messiah. We found them. The one that Moses wrote about so the first thing we learn about Nathaniel is that he was a study of the Scripture, a searcher for truth seeker for God. That's the good part about like it was about Philip. He wanted to know God's truth or do know God's truth. He looked for the Messiah but verse 46 tells us he had assumed to yet a weakness. Nathaniel said to Philip, can any good thing come out of Nazareth. You gotta be kidding. Not even live in any place.
It was that hot.
Frankly Cana I mean that is a dinky place but they had a little class in Cana Nazareth was a was at the spot Nazareth was unrefined. You know, no class, rowdy place while place on educated was the last stop before the Gentile world. You know he was out on the free me.
Nothing ever came out of Nazareth but travel well I don't know whether they had them competition between the towns or not, but some kind of thing it build up and Nathaniel started. He showed an ugly soon and that sin is the sin of prejudice.
He shows prejudice toward a town north.
Prejudice is is an uncalled for generalization based on feelings of superiority is an uncalled for generalization based on feelings of superiority is blanketed the whole town of Nasrin is another good remark about other prejudices ugly.
I don't know if you had the opportunity to read the holy war by John Bunyan. I know you're probably familiar with Pilgrim's progress of the holy war is an equally masterful allegory and in the holy war.
Man's soul is a town and Immanuel and his forces are attacking this town, Christ is coming to wanting to invade this life, and as the town of man's soul sits there.
Immanuel's forces approach and Bunyan says Immanuel's forces first attack here date but Dion Avalos, who is Satan sets up a guard at your gate and his garden is, says Bunyan old Mr. prejudice and angry, and ill conditioned fellow who has under his power. 60 death men prejudice has stopped a lot of folks from hearing the truth as you know what I was that prevented the scribes and the Pharisees from responding to Jesus Christ. It was prejudice he was not from Jerusalem he was not trained in their schools and even in acts. They said of the apostles.
What do they know they are ignorant and on the learned Galileans hayseeds from the north who haven't been rightly educated liberal say that about us today.
There are people in the world who think that Christianity is a racist religion prejudice is a device used often by Satan to blind people to the truth because the Jewish nation to remain deaf to the appeal of their own Messiah. So Nathaniel showed prejudice you say boy offers one thing you don't want among the 12 it's a guy with prejudice is a good fella, thoughtful, biblical looking for the Messiah, quiet meditative guy for prejudice will Philip offered them a solution. The universe 46 is, see now to find out how deep is prejudices if he is really really prejudice you to say not on your life. I wouldn't go near but if he got the kind of prejudice that can be overcome is going to respond and he did respond verse 47 he went and Jesus saw Nathaniel coming and he said of him.
He's walking up early to see this supposed Messiah from Nazareth and up walks the Lord and says behold an Israelite for real. You know, there is no accuracy what what an introduction about me me what is the Lord say what is an Israelite indeed when you're either a jury or not right word and deed is all I thought as a true Jew through his you could be a Jew and not a true Jew. That's right you to be an Israelite and not a true Israelite. That's right.
It is relying on a genuine Israelite x-ray because circumcision is not that of the flesh but that of the heart, not all Israel is Israel.
Romans 96. There are Jews in the flesh who are not Jews in the covenant because I do not believe right. It was a true Jew, God-fearing God seeking Messiah oriented Jew food you and he said in him.
There's no deceit there's no guile. He is an honest sincere Jew who seeks God. What a commendation.
What a commendation.
But even someone as good as that and he said there's no deceit and Jesus said that is no guile and nothing funny about it, but even a man that was still staying with us in a prejudice so you see, the Lord is always working with the unqualified at some point or another.
Even the best of them.
His heart was right. This commitment was to the truth of God. He didn't have any deceit or hypocrisy in his life and the largest told what a wonderful level introduction when the be a wonderful thing of the Lord walk up to you and set off a true Christian who is without hypocrisy. Boys say thank you wonderful. You say that we must've been a terrific guy and show you how really sincere. He was, he said in verse 48. How do you know me. How do you know this how do you know my heart, and he knew he was a true Jew and he knew he was a God seeker.
And he knew he was sincere. How do you know that you just walk up and you know that you know that Jesus said to them all before. Philip ever went to get you.
I I saw you under the fig tree. All that was more know I was under a fig tree that's where he will see what you do hundred fig tree the people get under fig trees. Will you do hundred fig tree basically in Palestine.
Fig trees were planted around houses as well as places where they would be harvested as a crop fig tree would grow to a height of 15 feet and spread its branches out about 25 feet from the mill as far 25 feet.
It would be like a very great shade. And it's very hot there.
You know, in many the poor homes was only one room and there was little breeze very often. So you could go out of the fig tree and you could find shade and comfort in coolest. But beyond that, a fig tree became the only place you could go to get away from the house in the hustle and bustle of what was going on inside so it became a place of retreat. It became a place of respite. It became a place to be alone. It became a place of prayer in a place of meditation in a place of contemplation, a place of communing with God a place of searching the Scripture place of quietness and may well be that Nathaniel was out of the fig tree so many Jews did, and he was meditating. He was praying in the quietness and solitude, away from the activity of the house he was seeking God in the privacy of the shade of the fig tree and Jesus is saying him. I saw you I saw you meditating. I saw you seeking I saw your open heart. I saw you in the secret place the private place.
I saw your true desire I saw what was there and what you wanted to know and I'm here pretty exciting.
Well, there was Nathaniel very possibly praying of the fig tree Lord, show me your Messiah and here comes Philip shooting under the branches saying Nathaniel found it. Your presence is from Nazareth and then the thing is so you gotta pick it. I'm even he knew that it said in the prophets, Micah, he shall come forth out of the Bethlehem and nothing good ever comes out of Nazareth. Come and see. Come and see Kate's desire overwhelms prejudice and off he went.
Well, that's enough for him. Nathaniel verse 49 answered and said to him, Rabbi, thou art the son of God, thou art the King of Israel, 107. Three years later, Philip wasn't sure about that whether he was God Nathaniel Millet immediately he saw Dede in his presence.
Philip's concept was that the one whom Moses spoke about his, but he wasn't too sure who he was, but Nathaniel knew instantly.
This is the son of God, or what commitment. Oh what a heart and Jesus said this to because I sent under the I saw the under the fig tree thou believe Vista shouldn't be a question it's a state the reason you believe is because of my omniscience. You are convinced only God could know everything my omniscience convinced you who I was. He says listen you are going to see greater things than that, my friend, you have only just begun. This, he was knocked over by one little act of omniscience Jesus so I'm under a fig tree in Jesus as you have seen anything yet. Verse 5170 earlier earlier saying to you from here on, you're going to see heaven open and you can see angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. What is this in specific he saying this Nathaniel you think you saw heaven.
You think you saw divine power and that omniscience from here on your C stuff going on all the time between heaven and earth to see heaven open and angels going up and down the Son of Man working in response to heavenly power. You're to be exposed to heaven come down 20 a wise miracle after miracle after miracle may well be that Nathaniel understood the glory of Christ better than anybody else. He never asked another question.
He never frames another query.
He never even appears the rest of the time and the whole account he was in solid like a rock at the start. So we meet Nathaniel Bartholomew, seeker of truth prejudice but not bound by it. Honest open.
A man of prayer amount of meditation amendment to complete surrender to Christ. A man with a keen mind and heart of faith he saw. He understood and Jesus promised him the most wonderful revelations, and everything he saw.
From then on he knew was heaven open heaven open. Philip was never sure what it was. God uses slow plodding Delphic mechanical analytical weak faith. Skeptics like Philip God uses great faith for understanding meditative souls like Nathaniel, nor does he takes the raw material and transforms it into what he can use. I wish I could tell you the story between Phillips training and his death.
A bit would be glorious as the Lord made him what he wanted to be the Lord can use any raw material that's available is in the business of making the most out of the unqualified rescue. This imposing do you qualify among the unqualified because if you do the Lord wants to use us. Lord, again, we thank you for fact that this is such a heartening word to us that you can use us in spite of ourselves, not as we are so much. But as you will make us and mold us and shape us, may we be willing to start out as learners what they Tase disciples to become apostles.
Trained to be sent for your glory in Christ you're listening to Grace to you as John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary continues his look at the practical lessons you can learn from the 12 closest disciples of Christ and how Christ use those men to change the world.
John is titled our series, the Masters men John in this study you've made sure to emphasize again and again how ordinary what average guys, these disciples were does it surprise you that Scripture uncovers so many weaknesses in the 12 disciples that it's so detailed and so candid about their flaws will know because that's the only kind of people. God can use again, you can't have a more prominent disciple in the New Testament than Peter and he is in every list of the disciples at the head of the list. He is the preacher in the first part of the book of acts. He is the guy who preached on the day of Pentecost the church was founded, Peter is this prominent prominent preacher. He is this amazingly gifted man and yet he turns right around and tries to turn the Lord away from the cross. And Jesus said get behind me Satan. He went from being the voice of God to the voice of Satan talk about flaws and of course then the horrible time when he denied Jesus three in three successive conversations in the courtyard of the high priest so you can't even look at the New Testament without seeing the dominating force of this man called Peter, and you can't look at him without being struck by the fact that he had so many flaws and so many weaknesses and God has carried on his kingdom work throughout all of redemptive history through the lives of people who are less than perfect. A whole lot less-than-perfect would been mentioning a new book called 40 lives in 40 days you may be kind of underestimating your own life. This would be a great adventure for you read 40 lives in 40 days, people who were flawed like Esther Vanessa Miss Miriam Mary Magdalene, James the brother of Jesus Hannah Ruth Mark Lydia Jonathan and find out that God use them as you well know from Scripture in mighty ways, not because they were perfect, but because they were faithful 40 lives in 40 days. It's kind of in a devotional format and you will be able to look at these lives in and see perhaps yourself reflected in their strengths and weaknesses. A great tool for personal, family devotions helpful questions at the end of each chapter to prompt further discussion. The title again.
40 lives in 40 days experiencing God's grace through the Bible's most compelling characters get a copy from Grace to you today. If those ordinary people with their many shortcomings could become useful servants for the kingdom you can to this new book 40 lives in 40 days will help you see that to purchase a copy. Contact us today.
Call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.org.
Even if you're familiar with many of the biblical characters in this book you are sure to learn something new again to pick up this brand-new volume 40 lives in 40 days for yourself or for a friend call 855 grace for Jide TY.and friend. If I could ask a favor call this radio station and let the people there know that you appreciate their commitment to biblical truth to erring program such as grace to you as sound Bible teaching becomes harder to find on the radio stations like this one play a vital role in taking the gospel to communities across the United States and beyond. So as you are able encourage them in this vital work.
Thanks for doing that now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to watch grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 work, check your local listings for travel and time and join us tomorrow when John continues to show you how God can use you matter your past sins are weaknesses. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time wasting