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July 26, 2022 4:00 am
Invariably, when someone becomes a Christian, their first reaction in the warmth and the joy of that newfound life is to find a friend until that person what is what Philip immediately went to Nathaniel, the immediate response to salvation is evangelism find somebody else in telling the good news be done too many risks there. The cautious calculators the people who tend to dwell on things that could go wrong well today. John MacArthur profiles a man like that someone whose story shows how the Lord can do great things with his followers despite their flaws and weaknesses as John continues his study titled the Masters men and looks at the life of Philip you'll see how Christ can smooth out your rough edges. Now here's John were looking today at Matthew 10 and particularly verses two through four which give us the names of the disciples's the 12 apostles today I want us to focus our thinking on a very basic question. What kind of people does God use for his purposes. What kind of man did Jesus choose when we think of the 12 apostles, we are prone to think of stained glass saints people without false people who have been canonized. People who manifest none of the failures of humanness that beset us, and if we do that were wrong because they are people just like us, specially called, specially transformed, specially trained and specially sent by Christ, but people just like us. Now we live in a very qualification conscious society, there are qualifications for just about everything. Our society has set up standards for everything and for everybody.
Life is made up of qualifying every time you want to buy a house you have to qualify.
We want to buy a car, you have to qualify when you want to get a credit card, you have to qualify and we want to apply for job we have to qualify.
We want to get into a career, you have to qualify when you want to sign up at a school you have to qualify when you want to be trained for something, you have to qualify what you want to join a team, you have to qualify. Seems like everything you have to do requires qualifying somebody establishes standards that you have to meet society is determined that it is going to use only qualified people know what qualifications does God have what does God require of those who serve of those who are called to be his disciples is apostles. What kind of people does Jesus use in his ministry. What kind of people does it take to advance his eternal kingdom ready for this. Frankly, folks. Nobody is qualified.
Therefore, God only has one alternative use the unqualified to do the impossible. That is essentially how God works. He takes the unqualified does that make you feel better. It does me.
God uses unqualified people moves into their life with saving sanctifying grace and himself transforms them into usefulness.
I know you're probably like I am you get discouraged about your own failures. I do and I often question how God can use me in why God doesn't use somebody, I'll send it to you through using me and whenever I get into that thing of questioning whether God can use me I just go back to the Bible to see the people use their because frankly, there fairly pitiable lock themselves mean there was no who got drunk and conducted himself in a lewd way. There was Abraham who doubted God lied about his wife and then committed adultery was Isaac who learned soon from his father did the same thing with his wife Rebecca and lied to Abimelech, and then was Jacob who literally extorted the birthright from Esau deceived his father and who raised a whole bunch of immoral children and there was Joseph was hated by all his brothers and it was Moses. Moses was a murderer. Moses acted in pride trying to steal God's glory and struck the rock instead of obediently speaking to the rock as God said he never enter the promised land he had led the people to it was Aaron. Aaron, the high priest to let Israel and the worship of the golden calf and the accompanying orgy and then there was Joshua God told Joshua to wipe out the Gibeonites, but he was so deceived by the Gibeonites that he made a treaty with them instead of destroying them, and they hung around the trouble Israel endlessly. Then there was Gideon Gideon who had no confidence in himself and even less confidence in God's plan of God's power and it was Samson who was marked as a man with a lustful love for a wretched woman and there was Ruth in the messianic line and yet an accursed Moabitess and there was Samuel, he began to serve God as a little kid what adeno and David the all time ladies man return is already likely married or did matter how many others he told her a murderer, a lousy father and a man was such blood. He hands God wouldn't even let it build a temple and then there was Solomon the world's leading polygamist and goes on like that God used Isaiah who had put his trust in the human king God used Ezekiel was a brash, tough, strong-minded, crusty, say what you think priest and God use Daniel was educated in a pagan country and taught the wisdom of the bitter and hasty Chaldeans, and God used Hosea, who married a prostitute and God used Jonah, who defined him in direct disobedience and took a short ride along fish and then when the Gentiles were converted. He didn't like it one bit. God used to back up to question the divine plan and God used Elijah who can handle 850 false priest and prophet, but ran like a maniac from one woman Jezebel, and God used Paul who killed Christians. God used Timothy was ashamed of Jesus Christ had to be told so by Paul. You see, you just follow the flow of history and it's the march of the unqualified is what it there unqualified and when you look at the 12.
You know what you just meet a group of unqualified folks like all the rest in business today if somebody was coming along and saying I want 12 people to do this, there would be a stringer qualifications a mile long and they would figure out exactly the kind of person they want to get well. Just like that, not the Lord. He picked 12 unqualified people who were so diverse it's incredible. And they all had problems and they all had since even the best of is just a list of the unqualified Jesus never intended to go through the work of proclaiming the kingdom alone. That's why when he began his ministry he began it not only by preaching and teaching, but by training men with him at the same time, he began his ministry he never intended to be alone with it.
He was training them all the while, so that when he left. They carried on.
And these are the ones he chose as we come to chapter 10 were getting an insight into how he trained these 12 and we met the first floor.
It was very comforting to meet them wasn't because they were very much like us what kind of people are qualified for the Lord's work. What kind of people does Jesus use well. He uses we learned dynamic strong bold leaders like Peter who take charge who initiate who plan to strategize who confront, rebuke, who commanded people to Christ and new frankly often talk a better game than they play and often act to hastily but are usually eager to be forgiven and restored and our Lord uses humble, gentle, inconspicuous, quiet souls like Andrew who seek no prominence never preach the crowds, but quietly bring individuals to Christ and then uses zealous, passionate, uncompromising task oriented in the sensitive, ambitious dynamos like James who wind up getting killed because nobody can handle. They see only a job doing I'll die getting that done.
And he also uses sensitive, loving, believing intimate truth seekers like John who speak in love and attract men to Christ just grew 11 a diversity. Now let's go on and look at group 2 first is verse three Philip and Bartholomew Thomas and Matthew the tax collector that's group to next group comes James B is for Thaddeus Simon the zealot and Judas Iscariot, but let's look first of all it Philip, this is not to be confused with Philip the deacon in acts six, who later became an evangelist. This is Philip the disciple's name is a Greek name.
Now all 12 were Jews or he must've had a Jewish name but we don't know his Jewish name. For some reason he goes always by his Greek name and by the way his Greek name is lover of horses. When the weather's parents were big on that and so they just gave him that Greek name or what but is always gone by the name of Philip. We don't know his Jewish name, which is kind of interesting because when the Greeks later on. Want to see Jesus. They go to fill, so he kinda became the Greek connection he was the place where you start a plug-in from the Greek level. Maybe they felt comfortable because his name was Greek name. He is always in the second list and he is always at the head of the second list, which means that he seems to have been the start of the leader of the second group. It's hard to imagine that because he doesn't really have those kinds of gifts, but he may have led more than they followed were not sure now for a while. He was a fellow townsmen at Bethsaida and you remember the Bethsaida up in Galilee was the town where Peter and Andrew came from. So Philip knew Peter and Andrew. He had perhaps grown up knowing them, perhaps was close friend of theirs, so there is in the 12.
The very obvious fact that there is it there's a lot of friendship interwoven.
There there was some one by one.
Callings of these individual one to another to another to another.
And so Philip was kind of in the group may well been a fisherman. He appears later on with the Andrew and with Peter and with James and with John and John 21 fishing the three gospel say nothing about it just his name. Nothing else but John's Gospel mentions him for time and we really get to know him in these four passages.
Let's look together at John 143 and let's meet Philip and let's ask the question again.
What kind of people can God use Philip will come off as anything but a stained-glass state. Verse 43, the day following.
And that means the day following Peter and Andrew having an encounter with Christ, the day following the time when John the Baptist pointed to Christ he said, behold the Lamb of God and Peter and Andrew followed him the day following that Jesus would go forth into Galilee and find Philip and Seth on the him follow me now that is the first direct call of a disciple. Peter and Andrew had already met Christ, but they had sort of found here. They had sort of come along, but Philip is the first individual to whom the Lord expressly said, follow me.
He walks up and found him and said, follow me, but may I hasten to add that Philip also had a seeking heart.
God doesn't find people against their will.
He had a seeking heart and if you look at verse 45. After verse 40 forward says he was from Bethsaida where and repeatedly it says Philip then went to find Nathaniel or Bartholomew same person they said to him, we have found now from the Lord's viewpoint. He found Philip from Philip's viewpoint. He found the Lord is that the way your testimony go the sovereign side is that God found you the human side is that you found Christ and in order for it to happen. Both of you had to be seeking.
The Son of Man is come in the world to seek and save that which is lost if you speak with me with all your heart. You shall surely what finally it is God seeking it is men seeking God seeks that true heart that seeks him. And so Philip was seeking the truth. Philip was seeking that reality. In verse 45.
He says we found him of whom Moses in the law, the prophets did right in other words, he must've been studying the law and the prophets. He must've been exposing himself to that and now he says we found him and his name is Jesus.
He comes from Nazareth and he is Jesus bar Joseph, the son of just we found, but a real sense was no human agency Jesus just came right up and said, follow me. There was no human voice directed to them. Philip's eyes and ears were open his heart was opened and when he heard the divine voice say follow me. He ran to tell Nathaniel that he'd have found that the Messiah was here and you can imagine the excitement and the thrill of the joy and the ecstasy.
In fact, he even wanted to bring Nathaniel the universe, 46, he says, come and see.
Come and see. Find out for yourself. Now what we learn about the first thing we learn about him is that he was seeking the Messiah was a God-fearing Jew was religious and he was truly religious, and an honest heart. We also learned that his response would being found, was to find somebody else and I'm convinced the greatest source for evangelism is friendship. I think friendship provides the most fertile soil for evangelism, don't you because is already a relationship of love and in that relationship of love. You can introduce the reality of Christ, invariably, and I say this and through years of experience.
Invariably, when someone becomes a Christian, their first reaction in the warmth and the joy of that newfound life is to find a friend and tell that person what is and by the way, if you've lost that and that's only a sad commentary on one of two things. One, you don't have any non-Christian friends or two, you don't care anymore.
Both are tragic but Philip immediately went to Nathaniel, the immediate response to salvation is evangelism find somebody else and telling the good news you have noticed this just in baptism.
People who are saved and told they should be baptized.
Respond instantly and most frequently joyously want to give their testimony. People who have been saved way in the past and failed to be baptized when, years later, they face the fact they should be obedient and do that very often won't do it because they hesitate to stand up in front give the test.
It's a commentary what happens to the heart. When that first love begins to grow cold is not always that case but very often that is true. Will Philip made a direct shot to tell the thing so we learn that he was one who had a friend who cared about his friend wanted him to know he had the heart of an evangelist as well as a seeking heart, and by the way he went to Nathaniel because Nathaniel apparently was his buddy and he is always associated with Bartholomew when the disciples went out to buy to its probably true that he went out with Bartholomew and every list is always next or Bartholomew or Nathaniel. Now let's look at chapter 6 and see the next passage about and I think this really cracks open.
Philip now he had a good side of his good side was he thought God besought the Messiah.
It is good side wasn't easy at the heart of one who was an evangelist, but now are going to find out the that the stuff about in that sort of unqualified Jesus is already made wine at the marriage feast of Cana so he has demonstrated his supernatural power that for sure is happening there may have been other miracles and mighty deeds that he had seen we come to chapter 6 in a big crowd is gathered at the north end of the Sea of Galilee and Jesus is been teaching them all day and healing them all. They have all their diseases and it's been a tremendous day, but it's coming to the evening on the route is hungry and there were 5000 men. Which means are probably at least 5000 women and 20,000 kids. It's a big crowd and they're all there and you go to chapter 6, verse five when Jesus then lifted up his eyes saw great company come to him. He said to Philip, here we meet Philip again.
Where shall we buy bread that these may be Philip.
I like it, but what he single fell about what I believe. I believe Philip was a charge of the food. Somebody had to be in charge. The food we know Judas was in charge of the what the money somebody had to be in charge of the food figure out how much they needed and how to get it by have it because they had even as they travel around the minister and it seems to me that that was Phillip's area and so the Lord says to him now.
Philip how we going to get the bread to feed these folks mighty asking were six said this to test for he himself knew what he would do you know who's going to feed them miraculously in creating his own hand bread and fish but he was testing Philip. Now Philip you've seen me making wine at the marriage supper. Now we don't have any food for this model to how to get some food. You know anything person. Philip answered him 200 denarii eyes were thoroughbred is not sufficient for them that everyone of them may take a little. He gives him an instant answer which you and you know what that proves that's another thing that proves to me that he was in charge of the food he'd already analyzed, yet it figured out. He calculated that they could pull an offer now that bunch of about 200 or else that's how much they had in the kitty. By the way, one of those denarii are one of those pennies is one days wages so they get to get you get about 200 days wages out and let's assume that they bought barley biscuits. You can get 36 barley biscuits for one scenario I and each biscuit was the size of your hand in an inch and 1/2 thick like a big French roll kind of any calculator.
The whole meal. Let's see if we got to hundred of those times 36 and everybody took the seat abide around the edge and then the next move. The next lesson. I got it figured out.
It can't be done, it cannot be done, you know it's not about Philip.
It never entered into his mind that the Lord was supernatural, it utterly eluded him that Christ could do creative miracle. The supernatural resources of Jesus Christ totally escape this link. He just calculate the holding. You know he's he's analytical. He is pragmatic. I'm sure he would sit in a board meeting today with one of those little things just punch it can't do it. We don't have the money it cannot be done. Too much arithmetic to be adventurous. He was so stuck on facts and figures he missed faith altogether. One writer said the supreme essential of a great leader is a sense of the possible Philip a sense of the impossible. He did know that God said with him all things are what possible Christ return teacher about faith that he was at. He was such a thickheaded character that he was learning the less your sugar sent Lord you made wine at Cana. You fed your children in the wilderness with manna, do what you want. You got this crowd here.
You feed him you and you know something he'd been healing all day long all day long.
Philip had watched demonstration of supernatural power to overcome all diseases possible in that multitude, and Philip says it can't be done boy that is thickheaded and he lost his opportunity and the little boy that came along got an opportunity. Philip was a materialist. He was a man of practical common sense.
He had measurements he was methodical, mechanical. He had very little understanding of the supernatural. It was a facts and figures get always going by what appeared on the human level, that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary continuing his look at what he calls the Masters men here on grace to you. Will John as we move down the list of disciples in terms of each disciples visible role down is the right word.
Peter and James and John are at the top of the list. These guys had big roles but Philip the man. We looked at today he's down the list a bit and his role is smaller.
So with that in mind, some listeners may be wondering if the size of their role in serving God today will will let parallel their reward in heaven that would that would be like saying okay if you have the church even the biggest church with the most members are going have the biggest mansion and have a lot of the think that the there is no direct correspondence to that the reality of heaven is going to be that I think of lots of people are going to be surprised at how meager the reward of some very public Christian is and how massive the reward of some very private Christian is because God's God's measuring criteria are very different than ours and only he knows the heart, he that's why Paul said that you know II consider it a small thing. If somebody criticizes me or or somebody affirms me it's it's a small thing to me what men think of me. He says I always wait until the day when I see the Lord, and he makes that final judgment on my life from one of the surprises of heaven. I think will be that the hierarchy of heaven is not a look like the hierarchy of earth.
There is a kind of a Christian hierarchy.
You know, there are some were more well-known, more prominent, more public, but I think that might get reversed in heaven.
In today's lesson we discussed God's pattern of using the unqualified to accomplish is working and we identified Philip as that kind of unqualified guy in a sense, the leader of the second group within the 12 years down the line, but he's not down the line. He's only he is down the line in the list but is not down the line in God's eyes are in the kingdom and you need to be encourage that you may not be the public person, but God knows everything that you have done to honor him to show your love for him to serve him be obedient to him and worship him. God uses all of us to fulfill his purpose. Our faithfulness guarantees the future reward in heaven.
But that reward may not be anything like we think it might be because it's going to be based not on what was visible but what was invisible. That's right. And thank you John, that is very helpful and friend.
If our current series on Christ's disciples, has encouraged you or help you see that God delights in using ordinary people to accomplish his purposes.
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