August 27 I Monday
1 Corinthians 9
“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 day after meeting Andrew and Peter, Jesus found Philip and said to him, “Follow me” (John 1:43). Philip then told Nathanael that he had found the Messiah. This begs the question: Did Jesus find Philip or did Philip find Jesus? The answer is they found each other. When a seeking sinner and a seeking Saviour are both looking, it will not take long to connect.
When confronted by the Jewish leaders, Jesus said to them, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40). The Jewish leaders viewed reading Scripture as an end in itself, and their primary concern was strict adherence to the Law of Moses. They had their own preconceptions of what the Messiah would be like, which completely blinded them to the true Messiah standing before them.
Philip, on the other hand, recognized Jesus because he knew Old Testament Scripture and read it with discernment of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament prophetically describes the birth of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection centuries before these events took place. We trust Jesus not simply because He died on the cross for our sins, but because He fulfills everything God told us in advance, some prophesies having been written up to 1,000 years before Christ.
The fingerprints of God are in creation and our consciences, but we will only ever find the real Jesus in the Bible. Our appetites may be whetted by seeing Jesus in someone else’s life or hearing about Jesus, but the Bible is the only written revelation of His Son God has given us. Philip, knowing Scripture, did not find an existential Jesus who conveniently plugged the gaps and met the needs in his life, but the real Jesus, the one who had been spoken of prophetically throughout Old Testament scrolls.
To grow and mature in our Christian lives, the Bible must be an open book in our homes. With so many pseudo apostles preying on the vulnerable today, we need to know what is from God and what is not. Had Philip not known the Scriptures, he would not have known who Jesus was and the “Follow me” would have been meaningless to him. If we look at Jesus through the lens of our needs, we will get a distorted Jesus, and if we look at Jesus through popular culture, it will be a trendy Jesus, but look at Jesus through the lens of Scripture and we have the real Jesus. And, like Philip, we will recognize Him!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are real, living and active. Grant me the discernment of Your Holy Spirit when reading Scripture, so that I may discover more about You and deepen our relationship. Thank You, Lord.