Philip was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.
– Philip’s Call to Be a Disciple of Jesus… John 1:43-47
Philip lived in Bethsaida, and was connected to Andrew & Peter, who were from the same town. He is also connected to Nathanael (Bartholomew), who Philip first introduced to Jesus.
– Philip’s Call to Be an Apostle of Jesus… Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19a; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13
Philip is always listed as 5th among the apostles.
– Philip Is Quizzed by Jesus… John 6:4-6
Philip was asked how they could feed 5,000 people. Philip hadn’t studied for this pop quiz. With thousands of hungry people gathered, and nothing to feed them, Philip was the apostle who was singled out. How could Philip come up with enough food for everyone? Would he look for the solution through the lens of faith or the lens of resources?
Jesus intended to perform a miracle that day. When He asked Philip how they could feed all those thousands of people, the apostle could only look at the crowd and focus on his lack of resources. So, his Teacher kept teaching.
How do you respond when it seems God has asked you to do the impossible? Do you answer, “It can’t be done” or “I don’t know how this is going to work out, but I trust you, God”?
* God always blesses faith that leads to action.
– Philip Introduces Others to Jesus… John 12:20-36
Philip was approached by Greeks who wanted to see Jesus.
Of the 4 Gospels, Philip figures more prominently in John’s Gospel. His 2 most notable appearances are as a link to the Greek community. “Philip” was a Greek name, and we might infer from the context that Philip spoke Greek. Philip introduced members of his community… his own people… to Jesus.
– Philip at the Last Supper… John 14:8-11
Philip had been with Jesus for 3 years… and it seems he wasn’t completely sure… or completely satisfied.
During the Last Supper, when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, he provided Jesus the opportunity to teach His disciples about the unity of the Father & Son.
Philip wanted to see God. That night, it was confirmed to him that his desire could be satisfied in Jesus.
Philip is mentioned more often in sources outside the Bible.
An early story about Philip is preserved in the Letter from Peter to Philip, dated at the end of the 2nd century or beginning of the 3rd (obviously not written by either Peter or Philip). This text begins with a letter from Peter to Philip, asking him to rejoin the other apostles at the Mount of Olives. This letter is believed to hint that Philip had travelled as a missionary, and may have been reluctant to stop his work to meet with the other apostles.
Later stories about Philip’s life can be found in the Acts of Philip, in which his preaching and miracles are described, as well as his death. According to this account, through a miraculous healing and preaching, Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of Hierapolis. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip & Bartholomew (and Philip’s sister, Mariamne) tortured. Philip & Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip’s preaching, the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross… but Philip insisted they not release him, and he died.
On July 27, 2011, Philip’s tomb was evidently discovered in Hierapolis.
You can read Philip’s story throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).