Year 2 Day 166
Read - John 12v20-26
Message - Scott Woodburn
Have you ever heard of Joe Hanna? If you have made Ballynahinch your home then I’m sure the name will ring a bell. To my shame it took me years before I knew where Joe Hanna’s shop was. I’d heard the name and I’d heard people refer to “Joe Hanna’s” but I honestly had no clue as to what or where they were talking about. Then one day as I was sitting in traffic my eyes rested upon a sign above a shop that said in big white writing “JOE HANNA’S” Finally the penny dropped! None of us want to be considered foolish or a bit slow on the uptake, but honestly we’ll all have moments were we are as thick as champ.
The Apostle Philip was one of the Lord’s first disciples. He was from the town of Bethsaida along with Andrew and Peter (John 1v44) and introduced Nathanael Bartholomew to Jesus (John 1v45). We shouldn’t confuse him with Philip the Deacon who we meet in the book of Acts. Philip lives and works and walks and talks with Jesus and yet at times he is slow to see what is before his eyes.
It is Philip who calculates the extraordinary cost of feeding five thousand people without remembering the extraordinary power of Christ (John 6v7). It is Philip who doesn’t take the Greeks straight to Jesus but instead checks with Andrew first (John 12v22). It is Philip who wants to see the Father without realising that in Christ, he already has (John 14v8-9).
Poor Philip! We would never make such mistakes! Well, actually, yes we would and yes we do. Consider your Christian life. You’ve heard thousands of sermons and sat in hours of bible studies but still you don’t really grasp the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Why do we baptise our children? If God is sovereign why do we pray? Did Christ die for everyone? Will there be animals in heaven? If I die today do I sleep in the grave? So many questions and truth be told we don’t always have the answers.
This devotion isn’t to humiliate you but instead to encourage. The Lord does not call us to omniscience - God alone knows all things and you never will. Nor is God’s call dependent upon our Scriptural knowledge with only the real experts getting to heaven. God calls men and women at all ages and stages. The most educated individuals on planet earth have received Christ and they are joined by others who struggle to write their own names.
Yes we are to attend to the Scriptures and to delight in truth, but if you ever believe that you have mastered the Bible and know everything then you are a fool. The Spirit leads us into all truth and yet at the same time we are human and fail to see what is at the end of our nose.
Philip has been described as timid, retiring and cautious yet his life was taken from him because he preached Christ. He may not have always seen what was in front of him, but today he dwells in glory and sees Jesus. Brothers and sisters, may we search the Scriptures daily like the eager Bereans in Acts 17. May we listen well to sermons and examine God’s Word to ensure truth has been preached. Equally may we not grow despondent when we struggle to understand what we have heard or forget what we once knew. There will be days that we will know all too well the limits of our humanity and so on such days may we be like the Greeks who once came to Philip and said “we wish to see Jesus.”
Q52 What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment? The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.