A Simple Command
Bethsaida was a small fishing village on the north side of Lake Galilee, not far from the main town of the area, Capernaum. Andrew and Peter lived in Bethsaida and so did Philip and Nathanael. It was later to become famous as the place where Jesus fed five thousand people. Simon Peter and Andrew had just spent a day with Jesus in the home where He was staying. The next day Jesus was on the move again.
But before leaving the village, Jesus saw Philip. We have no details about the encounter except that Jesus commanded him, “Follow me”! The next few verses show that Philip did believe in the true identity of Jesus as God’s Messiah and was very excited to have found Him. But perhaps it is fairer to say that although Philip had been looking for God’s promised answer to the mess in the world, Jesus found Philip! One of the great comforts of the Gospel is that however eager we might have been to find Jesus, He has had His eye on us all the time! And even for those who have tried to resist Him, He still has His ways of commanding – follow me!
Perhaps some people make it too complicated. God does not demand that we do a three year degree in theology to find Him, or that we take the best bits of world religions and construct our own religious belief. He simple tells us to follow Jesus. Evangelism is equally simple – stop following your own ideas and believe the good news (gospel) of Jesus! Of course, like Philip, we need to be convinced about who Jesus is … and that information comes from the four gospel writers, as well as from other parts of the Bible. So, to start following Jesus we need to believe that He is God who came in a human body to die for our sins, then to repent and receive God’s Holy Spirit. It all starts when we know that the calling message of God is intended to be received personally. So if you think He is calling you, check it out at www.crosscheck.org.uk.
© Dr Paul Adams