Daily Thought for: 20th September

PHILIP, THE APOSTLE

John 1. 43-45; 6. 5-7; 12.21; 14. 8-11

Philip was of Bethsaida in Galilee and one day he was ‘found’ by the Lord and invited to follow Him. This he did. Here was a simple call to faith and discipleship, and a commitment of faith. No sooner had he believed than he sought others. He spoke to Nathanael enthusiastically. Forgetting the Lord that had found him he said, ‘We have found him’, the One promised by Moses and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph. So far, so good, but then he added, ‘of Nazareth’. This provided Nathanael with an excuse to criticise. Philip countered this beautifully, ‘Come and see’, he said. It is best to ignore criticism, and avoid arguments. The message is ‘Come and see!’ Argument tends to confuse—a sight of Christ tends to convert. 

On the occasion of the feeding of the five thousand Philip was tested by the Lord. ‘Whence (how) shall we buy bread?’ was the question. Philip responded with a rough but reasonable calculation that it would take about nine months’ wages to buy enough to give each person present a little. It did not strike him that he could trust the Lord to work a miracle, though he had witnessed many. The Lord was looking for faith in Himself as the answer. 

Later, Philip was approached by some Greeks who wanted to see Jesus. What would he do? Unsure, he sought guidance from Andrew. This was good, but it would have been so much better had he taken the initiative himself. 

During the discourse in the Upper Room the Lord said that they all had known and seen the Father. The disciples could not make the connection—as far as they knew they had not seen the Father! Yet, in seeing the Son they had seen the Father. Philip suggested that if they could see the Father in a sort of Old Testament theophany then they would understand. What they had, of course, was something much better—God incarnate! It perplexed the Lord that after three years they still did not understand. He explained that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son. Though two distinct Persons they are One in essence. As a final appeal He said that if you cannot understand this then believe that the works that I do prove I am God. We, too, may be slow like Philip—but we can have faith. 

 

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