Summary: This is a study of Phillip based on 12 Ordinary Men. It has a lot of added notes and scripture.
Note: This is a study from the book 12 Ordinary Men by John McArthur an excellent book. There is also a fill in the blank outline from Adult Bible Fellowships of First Baptist Church Orion that I have posted in the series. This is not original but worth posting for study.
Twelve Ordinary Men
Philip – the Bean Counter
Philip answered Him,“Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have little.” – John 6:7
I. Some general observations about Philip:
a. In the four biblical lists of the Twelve, the fifth name on every list is Philip. This apparently signifies that
Philip was the leader of the second group of four.
b. Philip is a Greek name, meaning “lover of horses.” He must also have had a Jewish name, but it is never
given. Based on this, it is likely that Philip came from a family of Hellenistic Jews.
Hellenistic Jews are those who had adopted the Greek language, Greek culture, and Greek customs. Tradition would say that he also had a Hebrew name but we are not told what it is. Why is this important? Because it tells us of the diversity of the disciples, they were only from different geographical locations but also from different backgrounds and family. This was a “compromising” Jew yet the Lord used him.
c. Don’t confuse him with Philip the deacon, the man we meet in Acts 6 who became an evangelist and
led the Ethiopian to Christ.
d. He, along with Nathanael and Thomas the Twin, was a fisherman from Galilee, just like the
first group of four.
Half of the group was from a similar area. It would seem that he would be more diverse and spread across the world to gather in great leaders. Yet Jesus had a task to fulfill. “All He really required of them was availability. He would draw them to Himself, train them, gift them, and empower them to serve Him. Because they would preach Jesus’ message and do miracles by His power, these rugged fishermen were better suited to the task that a group of glittering prodigies trying to operate on their talent might have been.
e. It seems that unlike the first four apostles, Philip was a , a pragmatist, and sometimes a killjoy.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke tells us nothing about Phillip.
“Piecing together all that the apostle John records about him, it seems Phillip was a classic “process person”. He was a facts-and-figures guy—by-the-book, practical-method, non-forward –thinking type of individual. He was the kind who tends to be a corporate killjoy, pessimistic, narrowly focused, sometimes missing the big picture, often obsessed with identifying reasons things can’t be done rather than finding ways to do them. He was predisposed to be a pragmatists and a cynic—sometimes a defeatist—rather than a visionary.”
II. His Call (John 1:43-46)
a. He was technically the first apostle that Jesus sought out.
b. What was the first thing Philip did after Jesus called him to follow Him?
Joh 1:43-45 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." (44) Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. (45) 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."
c. It is obvious from what he said to Nathanael that he, along with the other five fishermen from Bethsaida who
had gone to hear John the Baptist, had been looking for the Messiah.
d. When he found Jesus, he accepted him wholeheartedly and unhesitatingly. This was actually out of
character for him which goes to show how the Lord had prepared his heart.
Yet it would seem that Phillip had been looking, after studying the scriptures and hearing from John he had been prepared and looking. Like Simeon the priest and Anna, when the saw Jesus in the temple as a babe being circumcised there was an acceptance that God had answered prayer.
Then right after this he became an evangelist and went and got Nathaniel. His friend.
Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Don’t accept this as what I am saying but come and see for yourself.
III. The Feeding of the Five Thousand (John 6:1-14)
a. At his first encounter with Christ we see Philip’s spiritual side; here we see his pratical side.
b. Why did Jesus ask Philip where they would buy bread for so many? John says it was test him. But why
Philip? Because he was apparently the apostolic administrator – the bean counter.
c. Although he had seen Jesus work miracles already, when he saw that great crowd, he lapsed into