Day 3 of the Waiting Room & Day 43 of the Omer
The Messiah picked His “Disciples by the Dozen”, and the Twelve became Apostles [minus Judas], after the Holy Spirit came upon them, as Yeshua prophesied! This happened on Shavuot [the Feast of Weeks], also known from the Greek as “Pentecost” [meaning 50 Days].
Imagine what the Disciples felt after their Messiah was seemingly dead, and what they probably thought was going to be their fatal ending too, as His followers. Let’s look at the “Supporting Circle”, since Day 1 of the “WAITING ROOM” we examined the “Inner Circle” of Simon Peter [Shim’on Kefa], James [Ya’akov] and John [Yochanan], and yesterday we focused on Andrew, the “Supporter”.
The Supporting Circle:
4. Andrew [Andreas in Greek; from aner – “man”] – Brother of Simon Peter; Fisherman
5. Philip [Phillipos – “Lover of Horses”] – Friend of Bartholomew; Fisherman
6. Bartholomew [Nathanael – Natan-El “Gift of God”] – Fisherman
Today Let’s “zone in” on Philip:
Philip was from Bethesda of Galilee. Philip in Greek means “Lover of horses”. This is Philip the apostle – not to be confused with Philip the deacon in Acts 6 who later became an “evangelist”. The name “Philip” is a Greek name. Although all twelve of the apostles were Jews, this man always went by his Greek name. He probably had a Jewish name as well, but it is not recorded in Scripture. According to John 1:44, Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter and Andrew. These three, along with James, John, Bartholomew and Thomas were all fishermen from Galilee, see John 21:2 (Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same person; the “other two” are probably Andrew and Philip). The first three gospels do not reveal anything about Philip, they only give his name. But John’s gospel mentions him four times (1:43-46; 6:5-7; 12:20-22; 14:8-11). By carefully analyzing Philip’s words and actions in these four incidents, we are able to make some conclusions about his character.
John 1:43-46 records the call of Philip to follow Yeshua. Apparently, Philip was the first one whom Yeshua called to be his disciple. Yeshua found Philip (v. 43) but Philip also found Yeshua (v. 45). Some have asked, “Does God find the person or does the person find God?” The answer is that both are true. (Compare Luke 19:10 and Jeremiah 29:13). God seeks after the true heart that seeks him. Philip had a seeking heart. Apparently, he and Nathanael had been studying the Old Testament scriptures and had learned that God had promised to send Messiah and he understood that Yeshua was the fulfillment of the promise. He also cared about his friend, On the occasion of the feeding of the five thousand, Philip is mentioned. The event recorded in John 6:5-7, gives deeper insight into the character of Philip. Yeshua’ question to Philip was a test, “to prove him.” Yeshua already knew the answer. But what about Philip? Why did Yeshua single out Philip with the question about where they could get enough food to feed the great multitude? For one thing, Philip was from the area where this event took place. Some Bible scholars have suggested that Philip was in charge of food, just as Judas was in charge of the money. For some reason, the thought that Yeshua could perform a miracle had never entered the mind of Philip. He had seen Yeshua turn water into wine and perform many healings. But Philip, as his answer reveals, was a man of practical, common sense measurements, methodical and mechanical, a facts-and-figures guy, with very little understanding of the supernatural. He was analytical, pragmatic and pessimistic. He had too much arithmetic to be adventurous and was so stuck on facts that he missed faith altogether. He was like a man standing before a mighty waterfall wondering where he could get a drink. His answer basically was, “We can’t do it. Send them away and let them ‘fend for themselves.” What he should have said was, “Lord, you made wine at Cana. You have done many mighty miracles. You have the power to make food to feed these people.”
Nathanael, and Philip had the heart of a soul winner. Friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. The people whom we are most likely to be able to introduce to Yeshua are our friends. We need to be constantly making friends with unsaved people as well as care about the soul and eternal destiny of our friends. Philip cared about Nathanael and invited him to “come and see” for himself if Yeshua of Nazareth wasn’t the Messiah.
Philip probably helped count down the days until Shavuot, or Pentecost had fully come. He could have also been the human alarm clock to wake up and pray in their “upper room” living quarters, and daily services at the Temple [Beit HaMikdash].