Do you feel like a slow student sometimes? The concepts don’t come as easily to you as it seems to others . . . it takes you twice as long to study for a test and you struggle to do your assignments?
And does it seem like your progress in spiritual matters is also snail-paced?
Perhaps you’re a Philip.
Philip was the first disciple Jesus directly called to follow Him (John 1:44).
After countless miracles, sermons, and parables, Jesus explains to His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God; believe also in Me… if you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:1,7).
But Philip says, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (v 8). In other words, “I don’t believe you and won’t believe you until you show me God the Father’s full glory in person.”
Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves” (v 9-11).
Philip thought of Jesus as “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45), not the Son of God, and when the 5,000 were fed, Philip questioned His power to provide.
He wanted Jesus to reveal the Father in bodily form, but in Christ God had already done that.
Oh, Philip – so slow to learn and believe.
But it is this Philip God called, trained, and encouraged. It is this Philip that Jesus patiently taught and believed in . . . it is this Philip Jesus was willing to die for.
And when Pentecost came, Philip received the Holy Spirit with the rest and became a mighty evangelist and teacher. He converted many in Samaria and powerfully led the Ethiopian to understand that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 7, 8).
We may be Philip – slow to believe, slow to learn – but God is a patient teacher, and as long as we are in the school of Christ, the Holy Spirit will continue to lead and mold us into powerful witnesses for Him.
Father God, many times I have doubted and delayed. But I believe You will never give up on me and I pray that you will continue to mold me into a mighty evangelist like Philip. In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.