Reflections: St. Philip and St. James, Apostles

Today’s Reading: John 14:1-14
Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 9:9-18, 26-37; Luke 11:14-36

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If I had to recommend ten Scripture verses to memorize, John 14:6 would be on that list. Jesus is more important than anybody or anything. We need Him. We are wise when we live for Him. By the grace of God, Philip and James, apostles, most certainly did. They gave their lives for and to Christ. They became martyrs and were killed for their faith in Jesus, so they were not only apostles, but also martyrs.

History teaches that Philip was crucified, so he is symbolized by a Latin cross. James the Lesser (not to be confused with James the brother of John or James the half-brother of Jesus and bishop of the church in Jerusalem) was beaten to death by a club that adorns his symbolic shield. Both were “strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13) and “the world was not worthy [of them]” (Hebrews 11:38). There is quite a bit recorded about Philip in Holy Scripture. After the LORD called to him, “Follow me!” Philip found Nathanael and reported that the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament had been found (John 1). Later, Greeks who had heard about Christ came to Philip and asked, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12). Finally, right after Jesus spoke those powerful words at John 14:6, it was Philip who asked the bold question (that the others were probably also thinking): “LORD, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John 14:8). Jesus replied, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9) Jesus was teaching that the Persons of The Holy Trinity are completely undivided. Do you want to know God? Then know Jesus! At the same time, Jesus maintained the distinction of Persons. For this Person Jesus, the Savior of the world, Philip and James gave their lives!

You may or may not be asked to give your life for the faith. But even for you, God has been shown in the Person of Jesus, bestowed on you through your Baptism, your hearing of the Word, and your partaking of the Sacrament of the Altar. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, Your Son revealed Himself to Philip and James and gave them the knowledge of everlasting life. Grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way, the truth, and the life, and steadfastly to walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch