The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Peter and Andrew, James and John became a part of the LORD's entourage, His followers, brothers by familial association, and likely friends between these pair of brothers. Being fishermen of Galilee thy would at the very least be familiar with one another.
On the next day, the LORD goes into Galilee and finds Philip and invites him also to join Him as a member of His growing entourage and become a disciple of the Christ. Philip was a native of Bethsaida as were Andrew and Peter, and so it's possible that they all knew each other as well.
How often the LORD does a work among family and friends and associates - people we have known for some time, perhaps all of our lives, and when that work has begun, it brings about the eternal consequences of a saved soul. This is of course only the beginning, there is discipleship and the life long process of sanctification in growing in the grace and knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ (2 PET. 3:18).
At such times the nature and dynamics of our family, friends and associates also changes - for the better! We find ourselves in harmony never before experienced, according to the Truth of God's Word and Spirit (JOHN 14:6; 16:13). We experience bonds that extend well beyond the blood of family, but based upon the blood of Christ.
How often have we met fellow saints, and begun to build a friendship there that eventually creates the bond of love (COL. 3:14) and fellowship in peace (COL. 3:15) so that we may become closer to them than even our own unsaved family members!
The LORD in His infinite wisdom and purpose often chooses people familiar with each other prior to their conversion, as a means of furthering the Gospel, using people who have already to some degree and level an established relationship. And yet there are times when He makes even the most ardent enemies, brethren of the church and any and all animosity dissolves without a trace. This is a marvel to behold in both cases!
Once the LORD finds us - and take note of that! It isn't Philip that finds Jesus, it's Jesus that finds Philip and once He does, He makes His offer and the man decides to follow Him! - we cannot keep this wondrous, joyous and profound discovery a secret! We are fairly bursting to share what we have discovered in the glorious Person of Jesus Christ! And Philip does exactly that! He then goes and finds Nathaniel his beloved friend, and tells him about Jesus!
Just as the LORD sought out Philip with the intent of invitation of participation in the kingdom of God, so too Philip sought out Nathaniel, in a holy imitation of Christ. We saints are all about that! Whatever Jesus does, we want to do! What ever He says, we will say! Remember when the disciples of John were led by the Baptist to follow the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, and as they followed, He turned and asked them "What do you seek?" and they lamely replied (perhaps for lack of any better answer) "Where are you staying?"
And the LORD replied, "Come and see."
When Philip finds Nathaniel and tells him about Jesus of Nazareth, the One that Moses in the Law and the prophets spoke about, it seems Nathaniel is a bit dubious.
"Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
And Philip replies similarly to the LORD Himself: "Come and see!"
Philip had a zeal and a desire to share Jesus with others, but it wasn't a "zeal without knowledge" (ROM. 10:2) - he knew about what Moses in the Law had to say about the Messiah, as well as the prophets. Yet he knew more than these besides: he had met Jesus personally and could attest to His person, witnessing to the truth that resided in this Man from Galilee (JOHN 14:6; EPH. 4:21).
We as Christians have all met Jesus - not physically of course, but by His Spirit (ROM. 8:2, 9) and this awesome encounter has left an indelible mark upon our hearts (2 COR. 3:3; 4:6; EPH. 3:17; COL. 3:16): a mark of love, adoration, devotion, worshipfulness and peace as well as joy. We attest to the truth as found in Jesus - and acknowledge that we have found no such truth anywhere else in all of our searching and discovery.
We have found rest from our labors in searching for the meaning in life, our purpose, our fulfillment and satisfaction. As I have said so often before:
"In a world of empty sinful mirages, in the midst of barren, bleak and parched lost souls - there is an O.A.S.I.S. Only the Almighty Savior Immanuel Satisfies.
We sinners are subject to vanity, that is, emptiness - for that is what life is like apart from Christ our Life: it's nothing but empty and sinful mirages of things that will pass away along with this entire universe one day, things that cannot ever satisfy . . . or if they do, such satisfaction never lingers, but fades leaving us empty once again, or worse!
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
May we, like Philip as well as Andrew, lead the blind, the lost, the parched, the disenfranchised, the wounded, the lonely - all of these souls in bondage to the corruption of sin and vanity - to the one and only OASIS where there is Life Eternal and all that this Life entails (JOHN 1:4; 10:10; 11:25) and deliver them from the power of the enemy who would desire their temporal as well as eternal destruction (LUKE 1:69-71, 74-75; ACTS 26:18; ROM. 5:21; COL. 1:13; 2 TIM. 1:10; 2:26 and 1 JOHN 5:12).
May the LORD bless and keep you saints in His grace, truth, love and peace . . . and JOY! The next devotional in these JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN, will be based on JOHN 1:47-51 entitled 'No-nonsense Nate'.
Some time ago I received this message from a fellow saint:
"Recently the LORD has been speaking to my heart about these issues (and only three days ago, as of this writing, I received an email from a Sister Saint who was enquiring about the intention of my writing and the nature of my articles) He has encouraged me to start focusing a bit more on the edification of the saints with biblical exhortation and messages that can bolster and strengthen Christians in days of such debilitating despondency (which seem to increase with no turning back). It's far too easy to become imbalanced and be all about exposing lies and deception, relating conditions of dilapidation but neglect the edifying truth of God's Word with the intent on blessing GOD's children!
"It is in such days as these when messages of this kind are needful, more so now than ever!"
So I pray that this will bring even more edification and blessing to you!
Revisiting the O.A.S.I.S.