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A Simple Command

John 1:43-44
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. (NIVUK)

Simon Peter and Andrew had just met with Jesus in the home where He was staying (John 1:40-42).  The next day Jesus was on the move again.  He decided to visit the area around Lake Galilee.  Everything Jesus did was intentional, and He had come to call Philip and Nathanael.  Philip lived in Bethsaida, which was also Andrew’s and Peter’s home; it was a small fishing village on the north side of Lake Galilee, not far from the main town of the area, Capernaum.  

We have no details about the encounter between Jesus and Philip except that Jesus commanded him, “Follow me”.  The next few verses show that Philip believed in the true identity of Jesus as God’s Messiah, and was very excited to have found Him (John 1:45-46).  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 suggest that we put together the best bits of world religions and construct our own religious belief.  He simply tells us to follow Jesus – that is what the fishermen heard (Matthew 4:19), what Matthew heard (Matthew 9:9), and what every Christian has heard (John 10:27).  Evangelism is equally simple – stop following your own ideas and believe the good news (gospel) of Jesus (Mark 1:15).  Trust in Him as the only way to know peace with God (1 Timothy 2:5).

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 (John 20:30-31).  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 of our sins 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 (Revelation 3:20), check it out at www.crosscheck.org.uk.

Dear Father God. Thank You for having called me into Your family and into Your service. I am sorry when I have failed to follow Jesus in the way I live and the way I think. Please help me to keep on following as I read Your Word and gain a better understanding of what it will mean to follow Jesus in the way I live and worship. Help me to see others who are searching for all that Christ will bring, but who do not know who He is. Help me to be able to explain His identity to them and introduce them to the Saviour of the world. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams