Posted by: pmarkrobb | August 23, 2015

come and see

It’s been an interesting journey this week forming my personal reflections on the Apostle Philip.  Although John and Peter are apostles in whom I see more of myself, I share a deep and meaningful thing with Philip … a name.  Many who know me (even some who know me well) will find that surprising.  For they know me only as Mark.  This is the name my parents chose to call me, but the full name they gave me is Philip Mark.  So this is where I began this week, searching for more of myself in this sparingly mentioned apostle.  I traveled a fair amount of ground, but never strayed far from one single spot … Jesus finding Philip and Philip finding Nathanael.

As one who has been known to write 40 words where only 8 are needed, I have learned the beauty and value of brevity.  There is nothing quite like a collection of a few carefully chosen and crafted words which tell the entirety of a story in the kind of detail which explodes in vivid color and sprouts shoots of new growth in the heart and mind of the reader.  Such is the story of Jesus finding Philip and Philip finding Nathanael.

Jesus had just offered His very first invitation to a disciple who would willingly choose to follow Him.  The disciple was Andrew, and Jesus’ words were “Come and you will see.” (take note of those words from John 1:39)  The first thing Andrew did was find his brother Simon (Peter) and bring him to Jesus.  What a powerful first response – to find someone you love deeply in this world to introduce to the Love which is not of this world.

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:41-42 (NIV)

The very next day, Jesus decided to move on from where He was, and this is how the Gospel of John records what happens next:

Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
John 1:43 (NIV)

The Bible does not document Philip’s response … or in its silence, does it?  Philip follows Jesus and his first response is very similar to Andrew’s.

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:45 (NIV)

I love Nathanael’s response in the very next verse…

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

What an incredibly blunt response, which I believe we can all relate to.  We would love to think we would respond “How high?!” when someone invited us to “Jump!” in the direction of Jesus.  But did we on first invitation, and do we in following Him since?  If I “loved” Nathanael’s response, it’s likely because I can relate.  But even more, I LOVE and want Philip’s response to be true of how I live my life in sharing Jesus with those who God gives me opportunity.

Philip says … “Come and see.

Philip uses words nearly identical to those of Jesus’ first ever invitation to follow.  They are the words I desire to be true of my life as it draws and points people in the direction of why the love I show them seems not of this world.  “Come and see,” I say, by the posture I choose in serving.  “Come and see,” I say, as I choose to be silent and just sit with someone in the midst of deep loss or testing.  “Come and see,” I say, when I’m asked the question and one who does not yet believe expects me to give them The Answer they are seeking.

This week, in the space of three words on a printed page I experienced the entirety of the story exploding in vivid color with the promise of shoots of new growth.  “Come and see.”  May this be our story as we share His with a world that is broken, hurting and thirsty for a cup of Living Water.

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Responses

  1. Kelly and I are enjoying the “come see” of the gospel of Jesus. 🙂 God’s heart and voice is that we come….see, not go….get. How gracious to place and keep the provision of the gospel upon Himself. Come! See! 🙂

  2. Come and See, an invitation with expectation. Thanks.


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