Following Jesus 27

As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now begin to view the second group of four. In each and every listing of the twelve, Philip always begins the list of this second group. What do we know about Philip.

His name means “lover of horses.” He is not to be confused with Phillip the deacon (Acts 6 & 8). Phillip is a Greek name but Phillip was Jewish. Why his parents gave him this name we do not know. When Greeks wanted to see Jesus, they approached Phillip (John 12:20-22).

Phillip is always the first one mentioned of the second group of four. It seems to indicate that Phillip was the leader of group #2. This included Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew. Phillip was from Bethsaida. John 1:44. It is possible he grew up with Peter, Andrew, James and John. He and Andrew are believed to be the two other disciples mentioned in John 21:1-2.

While the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all list Phillip, they say nothing about him. However, the Gospel of John does give us more information about this man. What are some characteristics of Philip?

Immediately following his conversion, he went and told his friend Nathaniel about Jesus. John 1:43-46.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:43-46 ESV)

The church needs people who are like Philip. He wanted his friend Nathaniel to meet Jesus. Who are your friends and have you told them about the Savior?

When Jesus was faced with feeding a multitude of people (John 6) he approached Philip.
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberius. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” (John 6:1-7 ESV)

Perhaps Phillip was in charge of feeding the disciples. Phillip was analytical, pragmatic and who could be pessimistic. He would be the kind of person sitting in a meeting, who determines that there is not enough money to fund or complete a project. He was a practical man, methodical and mechanical. He was a facts and figures kind of guy. You need those kind of people. Are you one?

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