Summary: This is the second in a series of sermons on the disciples using Donald Trump’s "Apprentice" series in contrast to Jesus’ approach of selection. This message focuses on Philip and that God chooses practical minded people.(Drama also available)
Last week we began this brief series “I’ve entitled” The Apprentice: The Type of Person God Chooses. “The Apprentice” is of course the TV reality show centered around Donald Trump in which 18 candidates arrive on scene for a 15 week job interview. They are put through all kinds of challenges, situations and competitions so that Trump through the process of elimination—known as firing in the board room each week—selects one to be his apprentice to work with him in building his Trump kingdom. Last seasons show was such a big hit that they began a new season three weeks ago.
But we are not here to talk about a TV show or Trump’s huge empire or ego. We are here to talk about another man who has more power and influence than Donald Trump could ever dream of. Almost 2000 years ago Jesus of Nazareth began a three year venture of building a Kingdom here on earth that would alter the course of human history and would stand forever. And he began with a search for a team, an inner circle, apprentices. High level leaders who would take on the leadership of his Kingdom after he completed His mission here on earth.
We began last week by looking at the first “apprentice” or disciple Jesus chose. He is not the most well known, but he was the first. His name is Andrew. And what stands out about Andrew is that he was a very ordinary guy. His brother Peter was extraordinary, Peter was very quotable, he did things in a big way—he succeeded big and he failed big. He preached big sermons for big crowds, he wrote letters that became a books of the Bible named after him. Peter always appears first when the disciples are listed…Peter was extraordinary. None of us here can probably be another Peter…but every one of us can be an Andrew. An ordinary person who encounters Jesus Christ and chooses to follow after Him wholeheartedly. And then brings other people to Jesus. That’s the type of person God chose in Andrew.
This morning we want to look at another of the people Jesus chose to be His apprentice or disciple. We will look at Philip.
The name ‘Philip’ is a Greek name which literally means ‘horse lover’. Some of the disciples had both Hebrew and Greek names. But there is no reference to a Hebrew name for Philip. He appears to have always gone by this Greek name.
Like Andrew, Philip was not one of the most renowned of the disciples. When I took a poll last Sunday not one person mentioned Philip. So again we have to piece together an idea of what he was like from a few passages.
From the four appearances of Philip in the Gospels we see that he was a practical guy. If Andrew can be typified as an ordinary guy. Philip would be typified as a practical guy.
If you saw a Philip around town today he would be the young man who is a practical get it done kind of guy. He’s never been called a dreamer. Never been accused of living with his head in the clouds. He always has his feet firmly planted on the ground with a clear sense of what he wants to be doing.
He would have his Palm Pilot in his hand, with his schedule his objectives and his lists…He knows what he needs to accomplish this year, this month, this week and this day. Systematically checks them off as he goes through his day.
When he went to buy a car. It wasn’t an emotional decision or done on a whim. He carefully researched consumer reports to select the car he believed would be safest, most reliable, most economical, most fuel efficient, and hold it’s value the longest.
When he drives around town he always knows the shortest route. He seems to have studied all of the streets, intersections and traffic flows. He never wastes time. And when he gets to his destination, and gets out of his car, if a black cat should cross his path. He doesn’t bat an eye. Superstitions? That’s all nonsense. He wouldn’t care if 6 black cats walked in front of him on Friday the 13th while he walked under a ladder. You’ll never catch him with a good luck charm. None of that stuff is practical.
Ask him about religion? He’ll tell you that he was taken to church as a child. He believes that religion has some practical value. That children ought to go to church to teach them morals and keep them out of trouble. Does he believe in God? Sure. There couldn’t be a world or universe without a creator. He will tell you that his parents were faithful church goers. But that was their faith. He needs to find faith for himself. But all that stuff hasn’t been a high priority for him because it just didn’t seem to have that much practical value for him.