Have you ever felt isolated and alone in a crowd of people? While everyone around you seemed to be mixing, mingling and connecting, you felt uncomfortable, awkward and out of place?
We all experience moments like this. At some point, everyone battles internal demons of inferiority and insecurity. These dark emotions can cause us to retreat and withdraw from people. They create in us a haunting expectation of rejection and a horrible sense of loneliness.
In the New Testament we find the story of a man who may have struggled with such feelings. The gospel writer John tells us a part of the story of this man:
“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Come, follow Me.’ … ” — John 1:43 (NLT)
Jesus was just beginning His ministry. One of His first priorities was to gather a group of disciples around Him — those who could learn from Him and carry on His work. Jesus initially connected with three men, Andrew, John and Simon Peter, and invited them to follow Him. All three of these men experienced a very significant, life-altering moment with Jesus. They realized that He was the Messiah. That day their world started to radically change.
After meeting with Andrew, John and Peter, Jesus headed north to Galilee. There was someone on HIs heart; a man He had never met. But although Jesus hadn’t met him, Jesus knew Him! He knew who he was and what he was like. He also cared deeply for him.
The man Jesus found that day was someone others may have overlooked or forgotten. He seemed to be the kind of person who could easily be lost in a crowd. His name was Philip:
“… Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip … ”
Jesus went to Galilee because Philip needed Him. Jesus pursued Philip. Jesus knew where Philip lived, and headed to his house! When He found Philip, the Lord invited him to follow Him and become one of His disciples. Jesus’ invitation might be paraphrased, “Philip, come travel with Me! You now you have a real friend; a constant companion. Come walk with Me.”
This story beautifully illustrates Jesus’ heart for people and the work He came to do:
“For the Son of man came to seek and save those who are lost.” — Luke 19:10 (NLT)
Jesus seeks out lonely, isolated and forgotten people. He knows where we live and He pursues a relationship with us. He finds and saves the lost.
Philip’s encounter with Jesus that day dramatically changed him. After meeting the Lord, Philip immediately went and told someone else the good news about Him. He shared Jesus with Nathanael. Jesus found Philip and Philip found Nathanael!
Perhaps you have felt like Philip at times. Know that Jesus knows you. He is pursuing a relationship with you. He will be a real friend to you. Welcome Him into your world!