Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 14:9.
At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow me.” … He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God. Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe…. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip’s lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” … Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith…. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus.
He wished Christ to reveal the Father in bodily form; but in Christ God had already revealed Himself. Is it possible, Christ said, that after walking with Me, hearing My words, seeing the miracle of feeding the five thousand, of healing the sick of the dread disease leprosy, of bringing the dead to life, of raising Lazarus, who was a prey to death, whose body had indeed seen corruption, you do not know Me? Is it possible that you do not discern the Father in the works that He does by Me? … God cannot be seen in external form by any human being. Christ alone can represent the Father to humanity.
In happy contrast to Philip’s unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers.
Conflict and Courage p. 320
—–Our church just tragically lost a little toddler. Please pray that if it is God’s will that he will regain his life, or that God will comfort this family in a way that only He can do. Rich
—–Update on Patty—she is still heavily sedated. Sedation level was slowly lowered all day yesterday. They are going to try to awaken her today. Thank you for your prayers so far and please continue to pray for her. Donna
—–A while back I asked for prayers for my friends brother. He had been experiencing bad side effects from the chemo and radiation. His tongue was swelling. The doctors were able to put in a trach and help him breathe better. This weekend, he started bleeding at the trach site. After 6 hours and another surgery they finally got the bleeding to stop. The plan was for him to come home yesterday. Early this morning the bleeding began again and the doctors were unable to save him. At 5:30 this morning, he passed away. Please continue to keep his family and my friend in your prayers during this difficult time. Even so, come Lord Jesus. The 2nd coming will a glorious day when we are reunited with Our Saviour and our loved ones. Patricia
When I was in my late teens, my mother and I took the train to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our vacation. It was a tourist town even then, but not as large or as commercialized as it is today. Nestled within the Smokey Mountains, the scenery was breathtaking to someone from the lowlands of Michigan. We spent many happy hours visiting every gift shop and craft shop in that tiny town.
One day, we took a taxi a little way out of town to Christus Gardens, a wax museum on the life of Christ. As we entered the place, we felt like we were actually going back to the time when our Dear Saviour lived upon this sinful, old planet. The wax figures were so life-like that it was hard to believe they were not alive. Our hearts were stirred within us as we viewed each scene of His life of toil and sacrifice. Especially moving was the scene of His crucifixion. It was an experience that I will never forget.
One day, Jesus gave Peter, James, and John an experience that they never forgot. “Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” Matt 17:1-6 What a privilege that was! To see Jesus glorified, to hear the voice of the Great Creator of the Universe Himself, to listen as Moses and Elijah spoke encouraging words to our Dear Saviour must have thrilled their very being.
Years later, Peter speaks of this exciting experience: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:16-21 Think of it! As he remembered what he had experienced upon the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter pointed us to a more lasting and life-changing experience that can be ours . God’s Word far surpasses what the eye can see or what the ear can hear. It has power to mold us into the image of our Loving Redeemer. Paul tells us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18 The more we read its words, the closer we get to its Author. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:9-11
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa 55:6-11
Praise the Lord for His Holy Word! May we daily “study to show [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15 May we ever count it a joy to meditate upon its precepts. May we lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls and be doers of the word, and not hearers only is my prayer. ( James 1:21,22)