PHILIP, THE APOSTLE
Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter (Jn 1:44) and could be a fisherman. He was formerly a disciple of John the Baptist. After John introduced Jesus to his disciples, Jesus found and called Philip to follow him (Jn 1:43). Philip immediately recognized Jesus as the Messiah. He was enthusiastic to introduce Jesus to Nathanael by telling him: “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets” (Jn 1:45). So, from the very beginning of his discipleship, Philip was sharing the good news of Jesus’ ministry with others. Though Philip is not recorded in the Bible as professing faith directly to Jesus like Peter, Nathaniel, or Thomas, he was convinced from the very beginning that Jesus was the Messiah.
Before the multiplication of loves of bread and fish to feed 5,000 listeners, Jesus asked Philip: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Philip answered: “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little bit” (Jn 6:5-7). Hence, Philip must be an overseer of the supplies and food for Jesus and his apostles.
Philip preached in Greece and Turkey and was stoned and crucified at Hierapolis in Persia in 62 AD. He was crucified upside down, like Peter. Philip’s feast is celebrated on May 3rd in the Catholic Church.
As a disciple of John the Baptist, Philip believed Jesus was the Messiah, even when he met Jesus. Like Philip introduced Jesus to Nathanael, let us also introduce Jesus to others. Following the example of Philip, let us also volunteer to serve the church.