Do you want to know the different lessons you can learn from the Apostle Philip? If yes, you need to read this blog. Discover who the Apostle Philip is, what his life is all about, the lessons from his life, and most importantly, how to apply these lessons today.
What do you know about the Apostle Philip?
If you are like me, you would probably say, “Not a lot.” It’s easy to get familiar with the big names among Christ’s Apostles such as Peter, John, and Matthew. But when it comes to Philip, you and I, along with other Christians, are not too familiar with his life.
I made a decision to study Philip’s life. Lo and behold, though a somewhat obscure character in the Bible, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from his life. Let me share with you what I learned.
In this blog, you will learn the five best lessons we should learn from the Apostle Philip.
Who is Philip the Apostle?
Philip the Apostle is among the original 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. He is from the town of Bethsaida. He has a Greek name, which means lover of horses. Jesus directly calls Philip to follow Him. Later, he directed Nathanael to be a follower of Christ as well. He was known to be the disciple whose faith was tested during the feeding of the multitude. He was also the one who asked Christ to show them the Father.
Lesson no. 1: Answer God’s calling
Not many people have received God’s calling. In fact, out of the billions of people, God is only working with a select few at this time.
When God calls you, He is bestowing to you one of the greatest privileges in this entire universe. He, the Supreme Ruler and all-powerful God, has personally hand-picked you to be part of His coming Kingdom.
When God calls you, will you answer?
The calling of Philip is something special. Unlike Andrew who was brought by John or Peter who was invited by his brother, Philip was directly called by Yahshua the Messiah or popularly known as Jesus Christ.
We read of Philip’s calling in John 1:43-44:
The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
The calling of Philip proves that Jesus is not limited to one method of finding His disciples or anyone who is His.
In verse 45 of the same verse, we read:
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.”
The truth of the matter is that Jesus found Philip and not Philip found Jesus. We receive God’s calling, not because of our own effort. It is not because of our strength, ability, or skills.
We read Christ’s statement:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).
Our calling comes from God, Himself.
We didn’t choose God, but God chose us. [Click to tweet!]
Thus, we must see the INCREDIBLE significance of our calling as Christians. It is not an accident that you are here reading this blog. It is not an accident that you are part of God’s church. It is not an accident that you are where you are right now.
God has called you to be part of His Family and obtain eternal life. There’s no better reward than that!
All these are yours if and only if you answer God’s calling, follow His commandments, and receive His unconditional love.
Like Philip, will you answer the call of God?
Lesson no. 2: God can use the bad for the good
Sometimes, God does not directly intervene in human affairs, but rather efficiently weave through events to fulfill His purpose.
We read the reaction of Nathanael when Philip told him about the Christ in John 1:45-46:
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.”
And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
During their time, Nazareth is known to be proverbially wicked. If you are a Nazarene, you bring with you the evil reputation of Nazareth. People think of Nazareth with contempt, disdain, and prejudice.
Thus, it is not surprising to see the first reaction of Nathanael. Yes, Nazareth was a place of no good reputation, but it was where the Messiah came from. It was like a dark place seeing a light for the first time in many years!
It is also worth noting that Philip is from Bethsaida and possibly Nathanael too. Bethsaida was also a town of no good reputation. In fact, it was denounced by Christ because of unbelief (Matthew 11:21/Luke 10:13).
God can certainly use something bad and use it for good. He uses Nazareth and Bethsaida, towns of no good reputation, to bring something good. These are the towns where Christ and some of His followers came from.
Lesson no. 3: God can use you to achieve his purpose
After meeting Christ, Philip immediately went to Nathanael. For Philip, it is not enough that he has been called by God. He knew that there’s a work to do and part of that is to share the Good News with others.
When Nathanael doubted that the Messiah would be coming from Nazareth or perhaps he wants to confirm the news, Philip’s response was decisive. Philip does not need to explain any further, but he immediately showed Nathanael the proof. He said:
“Come and see” (John 1:46).
After a brief conversation with Jesus, Nathanael confirmed how he has met the true Messiah. He said, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel” (John 1:49)!
It is not only Nathanael whom Philip brought to Christ. After quite some time, Philip helps some people to get a chance to see Jesus and perhaps, would be able to converse with Him.
We read this story in John 12:20-22:
Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew and Philip told Jesus. As a result, Christ was able to impart with them the word of life and provided them with important instructions about how to seek eternal life.
Here we could see one of the reasons God has called us into the Body of Christ. We must be about our Father’s business and that is to proclaim the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.
Like Philip, God can use our effort to call more people into His Church. Yes, it is a fact that it is God who calls people, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything to advance the Gospel.
Before Christ left His followers, He gave them instructions to “Go and make disciples of all the nations.”
It is our job to plant the seed and it is up to God to give the increase. [Click to tweet!]
Therefore, don’t you ever doubt what you can do. Strive to keep your faith and be a light of the world. Through your actions and examples, you may lead people to God.
Lesson no. 4: God will test our faith
One of the most remarkable miracles of Jesus was the feeding of the multitude. In this miracle, Philip’s faith was tested.
We pick up the story in John 6. Jesus and His Disciples went over the Sea of Galilee. Thousands of people came together to receive the teaching of Christ. However, the people are getting hungry and so, Christ unexpectedly asked Philip in verse 5:
“Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”
It never occurred to Philip that Christ would feed the multitude. It is not their duty to feed thousands of people.
For him, they have enough supply to feed themselves, but to feed the multitude, it would take a miracle to do so – and that’s exactly they are about to witness.
Notice the question of Christ. He was asking where to buy bread. If He was only an ordinary man, he should have asked, “Where do we get the money to buy bread for all these people?”
Christ very well knew that they have the ability to buy the bread even though they don’t have the money. But Christ exactly knew what he was asking to Philip.
We read in verse 6 the purpose of Christ asking Philip:
“But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
This is where Philip’s faith would be tested. His answer would determine the type of faith he has at that moment.
If his faith is strong enough, he could have responded, “Master, you know. You have the power to feed these people even if we have limited resources.”
However, we read Philip’s replied in verse 7:
“Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
To Philip’s point of view, the place where they were didn’t have enough resources to produce bread sufficient for everyone. He also knew that even if they could find a store that could provide enough bread, they don’t have the money to buy all of them.
In short, Philip focused on the problem and not on the solution.
Philip should have known by now that they are worshipping a God of impossible. They are not worshiping a god made of stone, but a living, powerful, and all-knowing God. Philip should have witnessed Christ’s previous miracles and that should be enough to show him that Christ is able to feed this multitude.
We know the rest of the story.
Andrew brought a little boy who has five barley loaves and two small fish. Christ instructed the men to sit down. After praying and giving thanks, the unexpected happens.
You can just imagine the reaction of Philip and the rest of the apostles. The food they have simply multiplied and there’s no end to its bounty!
Thousands were filled and satisfied and after gathering the leftover, they have still filled twelve baskets!
What a glorious miracle for all to see!
James or properly known as Jacob/Yacob, explained why we must be joyful in the midst of trials and tests. He stated in James 1:2-4:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
The Apostle Peter added:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love (I Peter 1:6-8).
The testing of our faith could be difficult. However, it is not impossible to pass the test since God promised that He will never give us a test that we can’t handle. In the final analysis, the testing of our faith is for our own good.
Christ tested Philip’s faith. What Philip has seen that day he would bring with him until the last moments of his life. Yes, Philip might not have passed Christ’s test, but he came out with a stronger faith.
In the same manner, God will also test our faith, whether they are genuine or not. God will test us so that we will come out with a stronger and even more steadfast faith.
Lesson no. 5: We must seek a close relationship with God
God desires to form a close and intimate relationship with us. He wants us to answer His call and be part of His Family.
However, God will not force us. He tells us what to do but will never control us like robots. For this reason, it is up to us to make the decision.
Philip has been with Christ for about three years. He has listened to His teachings and instructions. In one episode, He asked Jesus to reveal unto them the Father.
We read in John 14:7-11:
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Like any of us, there are things we probably don’t readily understand. Christ just mentioned that if they have seen Him, they have also seen the Father.
With a zeal to know more truth and understand the nature of God the Father, Philip mustered enough courage to ask, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” He asked not just for himself, but also for others to hear the answer.
As a result, Christ explained further what He meant with His earlier statement. Philip and the Apostles were able to learn more about the relationship between Yahshua and God the Father.
For Philip, it is of great importance to know about the Father. Jesus has mentioned, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Now, he knows the way, he wants to know where that way is leading. Like any earthly relationship, we would like to know more about the one whom we want to get in a relationship with. In the same manner, Philip, in his desire to know more about the Heavenly Father, he also asked about Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
With this in mind, it is our duty as well to read the Bible and learn more about our Father in heaven. The more we learn of God, the more we can develop a deeper relationship with Him. Through prayer, Bible study, meditation, and fasting, we move even closer to our Heavenly Father.
Applying the lessons from the life of the Apostle Philip
While it is true that not much has been written about Philip, you can I can still glean important lessons from his life. I hope we don’t just learn these lessons, but also apply them in our lives.
How about you? Do you have other lessons, which you want to share with us? Drop a comment below and I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share these five lessons to your friends and family if it has benefited you.
9 thoughts on “5 Amazing Lessons You can Learn from the Life of the Apostle Philip”
My favorite account is found in the book of Acts after the disciples had their Pentecost experience and received the promise of power in their ministries by the Holy Spirit (Acts ch 1,2).
Acts 8:26-40 re Philip’s experience with the Ethiopian eunuch. This was after a mighty evangelistic mission in Samaria with signs and miracles that followed his preaching. Now Philip takes heed to the voice of an angel of the Lord to seek one individual in the Gaza desert whose heart was opened to Jesus, was water baptized and went away rejoicing. Then by supernatural transportation, Philip continues his preaching in another place and cities in his missionary journeys. A good deal more could be said about Philip’s level of his faith, relationship with the Lord and being led by the Holy Spirit, and depth of his commitment to serve the Lord and spread the gospel of salvation.
Thanks for your comment. I do also like that story about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. However, please note the Philip mentioned in Acts 8 isn’t the same person as the Apostle Philip. They are different people.
Nevertheless, it’s a great story, which we are thankful for that it was included in the Bible.
Thank you for the blog. Very inspiring and educative to Christians. Have been reading your blogs for sometimes now and they are changing my life to a better christian.
You’re welcome and to God be the glory. 🙂
I’m glad to hear that the blogs here are benefiting you. Feel free to read other blogs too. 🙂
Thanks for such a great reflection about Philip the Apostle of Jesus Christ. it has been beneficial.
Thanks Kato! Feel free to subscribe to our website. 🙂
Calvary greetings to you man of God. I really appreciate you and your clarifications about Apostle Philip; Christ’s disciple, the Philip and Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 and Philip the Evangelist in Acts 21:8-9. More unction to function in His (Christ’s) vineyard in JESUS name. This is my first time of visiting your blog.
Thank you as well, Adedayo and you’re welcome. 🙂
At least I really know the life of Apostle Phillip, the blog has been so helpful. Thanks