The Active Apostle

DATE: 23 March, 2003 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Matthew 10:2,3)


A.      We are continuing our study through the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ.


1.        Peter – man of Zeal

2.        Andrew the Soul-Winner

3.        James the Hot-headed

4.        John the Beloved

5.        This morning we examine the life of Philip


B.       Philip is an unusual name


1.        Nothing spectacular, or spiritual like “The Son of He who had 21 Sons”

2.        No. Philip simply means a Lover of Horses

3.        His parents may have loved horses, and just named their son so

4.        Lots of people are called Philip even today


C.       To complicate things, there are three Philip’s in Scripture


1.        One is a Governor, like Herod was – he was actually, Herod’s brother

2.        One was an Apostle – as here

3.        One became a deacon in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 6)


D.      It is the Apostle Philip that we want to look at this morning, and maybe see ourselves, or more importantly, what we could be!

E.       In the Apostle Philip we see a very active man – not an apathetic, or passive kind of relationship with the Lord


1.        He was active from the very start – when he was learning from the preaching of John the Baptist

2.        He is not a leader like Peter, James, or John were, but that didn’t stop him from being nearby to the Lord Jesus to always be involved in everything going on around Him!


F.       Too many men especially are pathetic in their relationship with Jesus Christ

G.       We all need if nothing else, a desire like Philip (Philp 3:13)


1.        Paul, like Philip knew he had not obtained all that he wanted to have from the Lord

2.        He knew he was not all that the Lord wanted him to be

3.        He know he was not doing all that God wanted him to do

4.        Philip had this insatiable desire to grow, and be more, and do more than he had done yesterday

5.        We need that in our lives!


II.       Background


A.      Jesus has just been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River

B.       Just before Jesus headed back up to Galilee, He was intent on calling a few men to follow Him – a few men from the Galilee area

C.       He had just called Andrew, and then Peter his brother to follow Him

D.      Now, He purposely went looking for another man – named Philip


III.     Message – The Apostle Philip – The Active Apostle


A.      Philip’s Discovery (Jn 1:43) “Jesus Found Philip”


1.        Philip was down at the Jordan River, listening to, and Amening the preaching of John the Baptist

2.        He already was a disciple of John the Baptist

3.        He had heard about Jesus from John the Baptist (Jn 1:26-29)

4.        But never thought he would meet such a person as the Messiah

5.        Then, Jesus found Philip – what a wonderful thing to happen


a.       The Messiah went looking for him

b.       The most important Person in all of Scripture (more important than Moses, or Adam, or Abraham, or king David) was standing in front of a nobody from a no-place, and asking him to leave everything and follow Him


6.        Philip Discovered…


a.       The fulfilment of Bible prophecy in Jesus

b.       The Lamb of God had finally come to take away our sins

c.       The joy of watching a nation get right with God

d.       That Jesus was specially looking for HIM

e.       That salvation is obtained by FAITH – just following Jesus!


7.        Now THAT’S the kind of discovery that every person needs to make!


B.       Philip’s Concern (1:44-46) “Come and See”


1.        Philip had a burden, a concern for Nathanael


a.       That he would meet and follow Jesus the Messiah also

b.       When a person gets saved, they CAN’T keep it to themselves –they want everyone to “COME and SEE” just who Jesus really is!


2.        Philip couldn’t just wait for Nathanael to figure it all out on his own –


a.       Nathanael needed someone to go and get him

b.       Nathanael needed to be urged, compelled, provoked into thinking about:


1)       Eternity

2)       His own spiritual condition

3)       Whether God kept His promises or not

4)       Whether Jesus is worthy of following for the rest of your life


3.        Philip didn’t do all the arguing either – he was willing to let Jesus prove Himself to Nathanael

4.        Jesus can handle anybody’s scepticism – if they will just COME! They will see


C.       Philip’s Conflict  (Jn 6:4-14) “How Do We feed So Many?”


1.        A lot of people were following Jesus at this time – a very popular guy for a while

2.        But all those people were hungry – had gone three days without eating

3.        Jesus looks the situation over and then turns the problem not over to PETER, but to PHILIP of all people


a.       “Where can we get enough bread to feed all these people?”

b.       “Where will you go to get what we need?”

c.       “What will you do about it Philip?”

d.       Jesus was not worried here – He knew what HE was going to do

e.       Instead, Jesus used this situation to PROVE, test, mould Philip’s faith and confidence in Jesus


4.        Philip hits a wall


a.       Philip thinks first with his head – good guy


1)       Tried to figure out how much bread over half a year’s wages would purchase, and figured it just wouldn’t match the need

2)       A very large sum of money

3)       Evidently was NOTHING in the treasurer’s bag which Judas had


b.       No more ideas come out – he has no solution – was unprepared for the problem


5.        So Andrew speaks up:


a.       What we DO have is a lunch given to you by this young lad

b.       But, what could IT mean to so many people?


6.        Philip watches amazed as Jesus…


a.       Accepts the gift of 5 loaves and 2 fish

b.       Thanks God for the gift

c.       Begins to distributes the gift

d.       Keeps giving out the lunch until all the people are filled


7.        Philip had the following conflicts:


a.       With details


1)       Concerned about following Jesus himself

2)       Concerned that people would follow Jesus as well

3)       But not concerned about people in general


b.       With reality


1)       When confronted with the impossible situation, Philip struggles with the size of the problem

2)       Often reality is bigger than the Lord Jesus to us

3)       Simply says, It just can’t be done! WE can’t feed so many people!


8.        How does Jesus overcome the conflicts in the human heart?


a.       By going ahead and doing the impossible anyway

b.       By prodding us to get used to living by faith in His abilities

c.       The hardest part is getting us to


1)       Come to Jesus with the problem

2)       Bringing all that we are and all that we have – and giving it all over to His will

3)       Taking what God supplies and giving out to a very hungry world!


D.      Philip’s Connections (Jn 12:20-22) “We Would See Jesus”


1.        A lot of people had a hard time feeling comfortable going right up to Jesus. With so many people, He just was impossible to get close to

2.        The Greek speaking Jews felt unlike the Hebrew speaking Jews

3.        So, they approached Philip who was standing back away from the inner crowd

4.        They asked Philip how they should go about meeting Jesus

5.        Philip realised that he was a connection between them and the Lord

6.        The world needs some folks who can show them what Jesus is like, and be a bridge between them and the Lord

7.        Philip could do nothing for anybody, but go and let Jesus know that someone was looking for Him

8.        And then go back and tell them, He is looking to meet you too!

9.        That’s the work of a soul-winner


a.       The Greeks knew Philip was closely associated with jesus

b.       They knew He could help them get to Jesus

c.       Philip didnt abuse the trust – telling them HE could meet their need

d.       This world needs a lot of Philips!


E.       Philip’s Ultimate Desire (Jn 14:1-10) “Show Us the Father”


1.        Jesus here talks about His Father’s House, heaven– with many mansions

2.        Jesus talks then about the way to the Father’s house

3.        Thomas wants to know just what is the way


a.       Obviously not paying much attention

b.       Thomas needs everything spelled out REALLY clearly


4.        Jesus reminds them all that HE is the way home to the Father

5.        Then Jesus makes the unusual statement that “knowing Jesus is the same as knowing God the Father”

6.        Here is where Philip joins in with his desire – “show us the Father”


a.       What a statement – a good request!

b.       Philip’s ultimate desire is to know God

c.       We are commanded to LOVE God aren’t we?

d.       Yet how can we love someone we do not know – closely, intimately?

e.       Philip is missing a piece to the puzzle of his heart – just doesn’t feel like he knows God

f.        So he begs Jesus to let them see and know the Father intimately, like He had let them know HIM closely


7.        Jesus declares that He already has shown the whole world the Father!


a.       God the Father has been right here with you Philip – for so long – 3 years

b.       And yet you never knew it – it never dawned on you

c.       If you have seen and known ME, you have literally seen what the Father is like


1)       That He is there

2)       That He cares enough to come here

3)       That He is interested in earning our trust

4)       That He still can do anything

5)       That He is about to die in your place so that you can live with Him forever

6)       That’s what the Father is like! Always has been, always will be


d.       Jesus Christ simply is both IN the Father, and the Father is in Jesus Christ – basically inseparable

e.       What amazement Philip must have experienced? To know that he was sitting, eating with, following, listening to, and loving the Creator God of all heaven and earth – right next to him!


IV.    Applications


A.      God is still looking for Philip’s. Have you discovered He is looking for you?

B.       Is there ANYBODY in here that has a concern for someone to come and check out JESUS? Not church, or our coffee, or our building, but Jesus!?

C.       How well do you handle the conflicts that the Lord presents you with?

D.      What kind of a connection are you to this lost world – a poor connection, or a quick one that takes them right to Jesus?

E.       In your heart of hearts, what is your deepest desire? It ought to be that you know the God who made you, loves you, and died for you on the cross


1.        It is not the body we worship, but the God who took on flesh, and allowed wicked men to crucify Him

2.        To study the life of Jesus is to learn the heart of God


V.      Conclusion and Invitation


A.      Are you born again to start off with?

B.       The Bible declares to us about Jesus Christ

C.       Get to know Jesus, and you discover the Father

D.      You will ultimately discover that He has been seeking you for a long time!