Sunday 17 January 2021

Bible Book:

Jesus found Philip and said to him, 'Follow me.'

John 1:43-51 Sunday 17 January 2021

Psalm 139


"Follow me." Are these words of invitation or command? It is difficult to tell, but Philip heard the words and followed Jesus. The events in this account were not accidents: Jesus found Philip. Philip found Nathaniel. Philip began to speak with Nathaniel, saying they had found 'the one', the special one. This special one, expected by the Prophets was here – Jesus of Nazareth.

 Jesus found Philip. It wasn’t the work of a street corner preacher having an unexpected impact on a random person. Jesus sought out Philip, found him and said "Follow me."

 Philip and Jesus must have known each other, by reputation, if not closely. They must have had common interests, possibly including a wish for change and the fulfilment of ancient prophecy. Jesus wouldn’t have known to look for Philip, to find him, unless they knew each other.

When Jesus found Philip and said, "Follow me" Philip followed. He wasn't taking a passing interest –  like following someone on Twitter –  it was much stronger – he was following in the sense of being a fanatic who was prepared to have his life changed. I follow a football team to the extent I watch when they play on TV and I follow their scores week by week. But I have friends who are dedicated fans of the team, which is different. They go to the matches home and away (pandemic permitting), they buy the replica strip and a season ticket. The restriction on watching live football has, in their words, diminished their lives.

 Philip was asked to be a fan, not just an interested follower, and his life changed because he followed.

To Ponder:

  •  What are the personal qualities that you find inspiring?
  •  What are the things you follow – take an interest in? And what are the things you are a fan of, care deeply and passionately about? What makes the difference?
  •  What will inspire you to be a fan of something, and to make a life-changing commitment?


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