"Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"" John 1:49

Nicodemus and the Court of the Jews accept Jesus as Rabbi. John 3:1-21. The difficulty is accepting him as one of the sons of God, a title that many of the Jewish elite had. Being king of Israel from this premise seems to have been inconceivable in the case of Jesus. Already by physical strength, the path to being Israel was facilitated.

  • These two passages don't seem to have much to do with each other. Why would Nicodemus be antagonistic to Nathaniel in particular??
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


Let me translate John 1:49 literally:

Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are The Son of the God; You are King of the Israel."

Note that "Son of God" has an article, "the", but king does not.

Being one of the "sons of God" was a common expression in the OT such as Deut 32:8, 43, Ps 89:6, 29:1, etc. However, being "The Son of God" is another matter and expressed the realization that Jesus was the same person as revealed in Dan 3:25 -

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (NKJV)

Thus, the twin expression, "The Son of God" and "King of Israel" were two titles of Messiah as per Matt 1:1-18, Luke 1:32, 33, 2 Sam 7:12, 13, Isa 9:7, Ps 2:6, Ps 45:6, 7.

  • It looks like you need to fix the typing error "sa,e"
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 11:11
  • @PerryWebb - thanks for pointing out the typo. Fixed.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 11:25

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