The call of Nathanael narrated in John 1:45–51 not only depicts the call of this disciple of Jesus, but also functions paradigmatically as an invitation for future generations of disciples to personal relationship with Jesus and participation in his messianic mission. The article argues that the horticultural metaphors of the fig tree in the Nathanael narrative and the vine in Jesus’ discourse in John 15 illustrate complementary aspects of discipleship, with the former emphasizing personal relationship with Jesus and the latter a relationship of abiding. It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that disciples, both original and future, are grafted into life in Christ and his mission in the world.



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