Summary: This is part six of a seven-part series on Christ’s disciples and the principles of discipleship. This message focuses on Philip and Thomas and was delivered by Pastor Johnny Green.
I love this series on the disciples and on The Twelve. It just shows that God can use ordinary people. How many of you enjoyed that message during this series? What I learned through life and what I really like about this series is learning that ordinary people are so messed up. Have you realized that in your life? Maybe you thought you were the only one that was messed up and then you got married and you just realized that it is everybody. They dress up during the week and come in on Sunday. You think everybody is kinda normal and they got it together and you don’t. You come to find out that everybody is messed up in some way. We have all got some kind of junk and some kind of stuff that we don’t think anybody else has, just us, and we are wondering how God can use us.
That is why I love the disciples. As Pastor Dino has gone through this series we have seen the junk that is in all the disciple’s lives. Phillip and Thomas were all the same. They had stuff in their life and they were not twelve blank pieces of paper that God just used. There was some stuff that He had to erase and deal with before he could write the story in their life that he wanted to write for them and it is the same with us. He wants to write a story in our life. There are things he has to deal with.
I am so glad that I was given these two disciples to speak on because I identify with them more than anybody else. Phillip was the ultimate realist. When I was reading about Phillip and Thomas I was seeing myself in them. I am not a loud mouth like Peter and some of the other stuff like James and John. I see my self in Phillip and Thomas because Phillip was a realist. Phillip believed that truth worked and if it didn’t work then it wasn’t true. I mean, if Phillip were to live today, the twenty first century of the United States, he would be an engineer at Exxon. He wants to see that everything adds up. He wants to see all the calculations and he wants to make sure the end result is right before he attempts anything. There is really nothing wrong with that except sometimes when he would start out from what works and then he would extrapolate truth from that. A lot of time he left very little room in his life for the supernatural. That is what God wanted him to see. How the supernatural could work in his life if he would just open up to it.
I love Phillip’s name. Phillip is the only disciple with a Greek name and his name means "lover of horses", which fit him perfectly because in the ancient world horses were a symbol of just getting things done. If you were going to go to war you had to have horses. If you had a field you had to plow then you had to have horses. If you wanted to get from point "A" to point "B" you had to have horses. We do the same thing. Guys, I do this but I have no idea what I am taking about, but when one of my friends gets a new car or a new truck or all that kind of stuff, I ask how much horse power does it have? Horse power is kind of a symbol of power. Now, I have no idea what that means or what I’m looking at when the hood is open. I’m like every guy, if my car breaks down, I open it up and I look inside it and I don’t know what it means and then I call Earl Rentz and he helps me out and that is Phillip. He was all about horse power. He was all about getting it done. None of this pie in the sky stuff for him. He wanted to know what really worked and he built his life on that. This is one of the guys that God chose.
If you have your Bibles, look in John, Chapter 6, because this is a great story. It really shows who Phillip was. John Chapter 6, verse 1. Look at what it says. It says, "Sometime after this Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee and that is the sea of Tiberius and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs that he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him". Now you have got to get this picture. Jesus and his disciples had been doing ministry. Jesus pulls the twelve up on a mountainside to get alone, and teach just them for a little bit and then He looks out and sees this crowd coming toward him and this is not just a normal crowd. This is not just a few hundred people. The Bible says that in John 6, verse 10, it says that there were five thousand men. Now you add women and children to that. It is foreseeable that there were 15 to 20 thousand people. Can you imagine sitting with your friends and you look up and all of a sudden 15 to 20 thousand people are coming at you. Look at what Jesus did. He sees a crowd coming at him and he says to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"