The Philip Principle

Jesus’ big entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday apparently stirred up some excitement about Him. John’s Gospel tells us that there were some Greeks who wanted to meet Him. But who could they go to? These weren’t Gentiles, non-Jewish people. They were Greek-speaking Jews from out in the Roman Empire. They weren’t natives to Judea. Even though they shared the heritage and history of the Jerusalem Jews, they probably felt like they were foreigners. How could they, these outsiders in the holy city, find a way to speak with an itinerant rabbi from Galilee?

Enter Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples. Out of all the disciples, he’s the only one who went by a Greek name. Everyone else sported monickers that were rooted in Hebrew. He could be willing to grease the rails so they could meet Jesus. Would he be sympathetic to their request?

In many ways, these Greek-speaking Jews had gone to the right person. And it’s not just because Philip had a Greek name. It’s because Philip had a pattern, a principle that he followed.

Whenever Philip is mentioned in the Bible, he’s usually bringing someone to meet Jesus.

The same thing happens in the beginning of John’s gospel. After Jesus called him to follow Him, the first thing that Philip does is go and find his friend Nathanael to tell him about Jesus of Nazareth. Philip instinctively understood that Who had found him was special and that the people he knew needed to know Him too.

So who are your Greek-speaking Jews? Who are you connected to that needs to know Jesus? This Sunday is one of those days when people have this feeling that they should be in church. Be a Philip. Invite someone to come and meet Jesus.


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