13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus chose his first disciples and calls them to follow. That was over 2,000 years ago. He is still calling disciples today. That would include me. What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus?
First, we need to accept he is who he says he is. Jesus is the Son of God, part of the Trinity. He came to earth in human form “to save the lost”. The disciples walked with him, watched him, learned from him. They got to know him intimately as he freely shared himself with them. Have you ever noticed the more you are around someone, you tend to pick up some of their habits? As a disciple, we see Jesus’ love for others, his kindness, and his compassion. He modeled it daily as we read in the Bible. When we choose to know him personally and follow his example, we are his disciples. We are learning his ways, following his teaching. Then we share what he’s taught us with others. And they share the Good News with others, and so it has gone for generations. The disciples gave up everything, including their lives, to follow Jesus. We are expected to do nothing less.
While I was reading through Acts 8, it talked about Philip. This Philip was not the same man as the Apostle chosen by Christ. He is known as “Philip the Evangelizer” as I read in one text note. He was a disciple of Christ chosen by The Twelve along with Stephen and others to care for the widows (Acts 6). After the stoning of Stephen, the believers scrambled and Philip went to Samaria.
5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said.
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
God had an assignment for Philip in Samaria. He directed him to a coach where a eunuch was reading a text from Isaiah about Jesus death. Philip was able to explain about the prophecy of Jesus in the bible and share the good news of saving grace to him. He was then able to baptize him and witness the Holy Spirit being given to this man. The eunuch then went off rejoicing over what had happened to him. It reminded me of a certain woman from Samaria who had an encounter with Jesus that changed her life and she couldn’t stop herself from sharing the good news.
As disciples we are given the opportunity to see changed lives because of Jesus. Just as our own lives have been changed by Him, we can share our testimony with others. I have no doubt the eunuch did just that because of one disciple—Philip—who obeyed an angel of the Lord. When we are called, will we go? Oh, I don’t want to miss what God has in store for me!
Lord, I am so very glad you said to me “come” and I did. You changed my life. I am grateful for the opportunities you give me to share who you are with others. Let us rejoice just as the eunuch in Acts did and just as I did the day I believed. May we be covered in your dust from following so closely. Amen