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Philip, Disciple of Christ

QUESTION: Who was Philip, disciple of Christ?


In John 1:44, we read that Philip, disciple of Christ, was from the city of Bethsaida. This city was also home to Andrew and Peter and perhaps James and John. Bethsaida was located northwest of the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum.

John 1:43 describes Jesus inviting Philip to become His disciple: "The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, 'Follow me.'" After this encounter with Jesus, Philip immediately urged Nathanael to come and see Jesus: "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).

The life of Philip, disciple of Christ, was filled with tests and encounter with the Savior.
  • Jesus tests Philip in John 6:5-7: "When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?' He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do." Philip answered him, 'Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!'" Jesus went on to feed the multitude with five loaves and two small fish.

  • Greek men request to see Jesus. John 12:20-21 says, "Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. 'Sir,' they said, 'we would like to see Jesus.'" Following this encounter, Jesus teaches the people about glorification, surrendering one's life, and serving the Lord.

  • In John 14:8, Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." In the following verses we read Jesus' reply: "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 are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work."
Philip, disciple of Christ, is often confused with the Philip the evangelist in the book of Acts. Most scholars contend that these were two different men.

So whatever happened to Philip? Tradition records Philip as one with a servant's heart who did missionary work in the Asian territory. Philip is believed to have been crucified (possibly upside down).

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We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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