The Master’s Men – Philip

I’m reading a book about the twelve disciples Jesus called to follow him and over the next couple weeks I plan to write revelations the Lord gives me and different quotes that catch my eye.

It’s funny, but when most people of the world think about the disciples, the first word that generally comes to mind is righteous or pious; They hold them on this high pedestal and assume they were the only men qualified to carry the anointing of Christ. When you take a fresh look at the disciples, you’ll be faced with a stunning fact: The men Jesus chose were plain, regular, and ordinary men – But they were obedient to the Master’s call.  

The disciple that I have learned the most from right now is Philip. Philip, was a facts-and-figures guy – a buy-the-book, practical-minded type of individual.  He was very cynical and generally thought with his head instead of his heart.  “Philip was apparently the apostolic administrator. It is likely that he was in charge of arranging meals and lodging as Jesus’ ministry traveled throughout the Judean region.” During the feeding of the five-thousand, as it was nearing meal time, the disciples all looked to Philip for ideas of how to feed all the people.   Even Jesus (who already knew what he was going to do) turned and tested Philip, asking, “How do you propose to feed all these people?” And Philip, who had witnessed Jesus perform miracle after miracle, responds with an immediate “it can’t be done Lord.” The limitless supernatural power of Christ had completely escaped his thinking.  He needed to set aside his fleshly, materialistic concerns and trust in the power of Jesus!

Another glimpse of Philip operating in his pessimistic flesh mode is seen in the upper room during the Last Supper. It is the last night of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the disciples gathered to spend their last intimate moments with their Teacher. Jesus has just spent 2-3 years raising up and training his disciples to carry out his work after he was gone, teaching them to use the same power and authority he had demonstrated. Jesus never explicitly told the disciples that he was God in human form, but after spending 3 years with him you’d think they’d figure it out. While they were eating together Jesus made a huge statement about his deity: “If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also; and from now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:7). Philip spoke up and said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” What kind of a comment was that? What did Philip think had been going on the past three years? He’d witnessed Jesus stand in the face of demons and rebuke them back to the pit of Hell, he’d seen hundreds of miracles and healings of people with diseases and deformities, and yet he says “Lord, show us the Father.” For three years Philip had gazed into the very face of God, and it was still not clear to him.

“If we were interviewing Philip for the role to which Jesus called him, we might say, “He’s out. You can’t make him one of the most important people in the history of the world.” But Jesus said, “He’s exactly what I’m looking for. My strength is made perfect in his weakness.” I’m so thankful the Lord uses men like Philip to better his kingdom.

God can use anyone. He meets us with grace, mercy, and forgiveness and transforms our lives into lives that reflect his glory. Be obedient. Be open to the Lord and truly trust Him. You’ll be amazed at the ride He’ll take you on!!!   

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