Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
When Andrew went to Peter, he proclaimed that they had found the Messiah. What does Philip announce? His message is a little different. He doesn’t mention the Messiah.
Philip was looking for a different sign from God. He was trusting God for the One Moses wrote about…
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
Moses also recorded the prophecy about Christ that was given by Jacob to his son, Judah.
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
This is who Philip was looking for. Jesus went personally to call Philip. Why didn’t the Lord send Andrew to Philip? Simply put; because that wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t have worked for Nathaniel either.
There are times when God lays someone on your heart to share Christ with them. The Holy Spirit does this because you’re uniquely qualified to reach them. I can’t do it; it’s got to be you.
There is another thing we know about Philip. He knew a lot about Jesus. Mary’s husband, Joseph had passed away by this point, yet Philip knew who Jesus’ adopted father was. He also knew where Jesus came from, even though Nazareth was on the other side of the lake.
Immediately upon becoming a disciple, Philip goes to his friend Nathaniel. Now we meet another unique individual. Who was he?
The name Nathaniel means, the Gift of God. Usually you get that name because your parents had trouble bearing children. When they were finally able to have a child, they see him as God’s gift to them.
That probably means that Nathaniel was an only child. We’ll find out later that he was chilling under a tree when Philip found him. That in itself tells us something.
Here it is in the middle of the day. Nathaniel should be out working somewhere. Instead, we find him relaxing in the shade of a tree. This might mean that his parents were spoiling him rotten.
In my next post we’ll see the encounter between this new follower of Christ, and his friend under the tree with a bad attitude.
Question: What kinds of people have you shared the Gospel of Christ with?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016