Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

John 1:35-51

Welcome and Announcements

    Next Week - Jesus Turns Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)

Opening Prayer

The Beginning of Jesus' Ministry - So Far (Luke 3-4)
    What event marked the beginning of Jesus' ministry as the Messiah (Christ)?
      Matthew 3:13-15 = He was baptized by John in the Jordan, Came from Nazareth
    Why is this event understood as the beginning of His ministry?
      Luke 3:21-22 = He was anointed with the Spirit and called by the Father
    How old was Jesus when He began His ministry?
      Luke 3:23a = About 30 years old, worked as carpenter until then
    What was significant about Jesus beginning His ministry at the age of thirty?
      Numbers 4:3 = Levites began serving as priests at 30
    Who else began their ministry of God's calling at the age of thirty?
      2 Samuel 5:4 = David became king at 30
    How did Jesus immediately celebrate His calling as the greatest man of all time?
      Luke 4:1-2 = Went into the desert, fasted for 40 days and was tempted by Satan

Who Was John? (John 1:19-28)
    How effective was John's ministry? = Promised return of Elijah to prepare Israel for Messiah
      Matthew 3:4-6 = Very effective, people came from all over
    Did the people understand who John was and what was the purpose of his ministry?
      Luke 3:15 = No, they wondered if he might be the Christ, (Messiah)

    How did John respond when asked if he was the Messiah?
      John 1:19-20 = Said he was not
    Who did he say he was?
      John 1:21-23 = Quoted Isaiah 40:3 - The voice of one...preparing the way
    After he quoted Scripture, did the learned Pharisees understand what he was doing?
      John 1:24-28 = No, he explained further about the greatness of the one to follow

    What was the purpose of John's baptism?
      Acts 19:1-5 = To get the people to repent in preparation to receive the Messiah
    Why was it important for people to repent before the Messiah would come?
      Luke 1:16-17 = ...to make ready a people prepared for the Lord
    How is this similar to preparations for Christ's second coming?
      Revelation 19:6-7 = His bride (church) is to make herself ready; we are the church

Jesus Returns (John 1:29-34)
    How did John further clarify his statements the next day?
      John 1:29-31 = He pointed out Jesus as the one he was talking about
    If John didn't know Him, how was he able to point out Jesus as the Messiah?
      John 1:32-34 = He had seen God's promise confirmed at Jesus' baptism

Jesus' First Disciples (John 1:35-42)
    Now that Jesus was on the job and John had identified Him, was John's job done?
      John 1:35-36 = No, there were others who hadn't prepared or seen the Lamb
    How did John's two disciples respond to John's claim?
      John 1:37 = They left John and followed Jesus
    What did they intend to do, follow Jesus from a distance to see where He was going?
      John 1:38-39 = No, they wanted to get to know Jesus - spent evening with Him

    Who were these two disciples of John? = John always refers to himself in the third person
      John 1:40 = One was Andrew, other believed to be John, author of this book
    What did they do after talking with Jesus a few hours?
      John 1:41-42a = Andrew brought brother Simon to Jesus (John took bro James?)
    How did Jesus show His timeless wisdom when He met Simon? = Cephas - H, Peter - Gk
      John 1:42b = He knew who Peter was & would become; named him Rock

A Couple More Disciples (John 1:43-51)
    Where did Jesus go the next day and who did He meet (there or in route)?
      John 1:43-44 = Went to Galilee (With A&P&J&J?), Called Philip (not Philip of Acts)
    How did Philip respond to meeting Jesus? = Do we respond by bringing others?
      John 1:45 = Went and found Nathanael and brought him to Jesus

    Was Nathanael also from Bethsaida? = Nathanael called Bartholomew in other gospels
      John 21:2 = No, he was from Cana, 4 miles north of Nazareth
    What did Nathanael think about the Messiah coming from his neighboring town of Nazareth?
      John 1:46 = Didn't believe anything good could come from Nazareth (rival town?)

    How did Jesus show His knowledge of people's souls when He met Nathanael?
      John 1:47 = Identified Nathanael as a faithful and righteous Jew
    Did Nathanael believe that Jesus could know him that well at their first meeting?
      John 1:48 = No, he asked Jesus how He knew who he was
      Not uncommon for devout Jews to pray, meditate & study under shade of fig trees
    How did Nathanael respond to Jesus' claims to seeing him praying under the leafy fig tree?
      John 1:49 = It was enough to convince him, called Him God's Son, Israel's King

    How did Nathanael's confession climax the names given to Jesus by these first disciples?
      John 1:37, 41, 49 = Rabbi (teacher) to Messiah to Son of God & King of Israel

Nathanael's Greater Thing to See (John 1:51)
    Would this proof that Nathanael accepted be enough to convince others?
      John 1:50 = No, Jesus said there would be many more amazing wonders
    What great wonder did Jesus tell Nathanael he would get to see?
      John 1:51 = Heaven open with angels ascending & descending on the Son of Man

    What story would the faithful Jew Nathanael immediately remember?
      Genesis 28:10-12 = Jacob's dream of angels climbing a stairway to heaven
    What was the message Jacob received when he saw the stairway to heaven?
      Genesis 28:13-14 = Promise of all people on earth will be blessed thru..offspring
    How was that message brought also to us through Jesus?
      Galatians 3:7-9 = We are children of Abraham by faith, we are blessed with A
    How are all peoples on earth blessed through the new children of Abraham?
      Galatians 3:14 = Redeemed so Abraham's blessing comes to world thru Jesus

    What is significant of seeing heaven open?
      Romans 5:18 = As Adam's sin closed heaven, Jesus' act opened heaven for all
    What is significant of the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man?
      John 14:6 = Jesus is the way, truth & life under the new promise, the new covenant

Jesus' Early Travels (John 2-4)
    What significant event occurred in Nathanael's hometown three days after meeting Jesus?
      John 2:1-2, 11 = Jesus revealed glory in first miracle: water to wine (next week)
    Where did Jesus then go that became the home base for His ministry?
      John 2:12 = Capernaum, northern coast of Sea of Galilee

    Where did Jesus travel to next and what happened on His arrival? = repeated at end of ministry
      John 2:13-16 = Jerusalem for Passover, Cleared temple of money changers
    How did word of Jesus spread from this visit?
      John 2:23 = Many from all over saw His miracles
    Did only common people recognize Him as being sent from God?
      John 3:1-2 = Nicodemus, a Pharisee leader, saw God in Him

    Where did Jesus' ministry take Him next and what did He do there?
      John 3:22 = Ministered and baptized in Judean countryside
    What did He do when people thought He might be competing with John?
      John 4:1-3 = Headed back to Galilee - Disciples were baptizing, not Jesus
    Who did He meet on the way? = Stayed 2 days
      John 4:5, 7, 39-42 = Talked with Samaritan woman at the well, many believed

    What kind of reception did Jesus receive in Galilee?
      John 4:43, 45 = He was welcomed because they had seen Him in Jerusalem
    Where in Galilee did He go and what happened?
      John 4:46, 49-51, 53-54 = Cana, Jesus healed official's dying son remotely

Jesus in Galilee (Luke 4:14-44; Matthew 4:12-17; Mark 1:14-15)
    Where is the next place Jesus went and what happened there?
      Luke 4:16, 21, 28-30 = Nazareth synagogue, read Isaiah, people drove Him out
    Where did He go next and what happened there?
      Luke 4:31, 33, 36-37 = Capernaum, drove out demon, news about Him spread
    Who else did He heal while there?
      Luke 4:38-40 = Simon's mother-in-law, many others who were brought
    How did Jesus respond when the people of Capernaum tried to keep Him from leaving?
      Luke 4:42-44 = Said He was sent to preach to other towns also

Fishers of Men (Luke 5:1-11; Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20)
    What did Jesus do when people crowded too closely to Him at the Sea of Galilee?
      Luke 5:1-3 = Taught the people from Simon's boat a little off-shore
    How did Jesus show His power over nature after He finished speaking?
      Luke 5:4-7 = Had Simon & crew catch a bunch of fish after a fruitless night
    How did these fishing disciples react? = Simon, Andrew, James & John - all partners
      Luke 5:8-11 = Astonished, left everything to follow Him as fishers of men

Jesus Appoints Twelve Apostles (Luke 5:12-6:16; Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:1-3:19)
    How quickly did Jesus' number of disciples grow?
      Luke 5:15 (16-19) = News spread rapidly, many came and believed
    What other apostle do we have a record of being directly called by Jesus to be a disciple?
      Luke 5:27-28 = Jesus told Levi (Matthew) "Follow Me" while he collected taxes
    As the number of Jesus' disciples grew, who did He select as His central apostles?
      Luke 6:12-16 = Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
      = Thomas, James (Alphaeus son), Simon (Zealot), Judas (James son), Judas Iscariot
    What other disciples did Jesus specially appoint?
      Luke 10:1-3 = Sent out 72 in groups of two to prepare towns to receive Him
    How does Jesus tell us to handle the responses we receive when we take His message out?
      Luke 10:16 = He who listens to you listens to Me, he who rejects you rejects Me

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:


Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page