by Rev. Reingard Knausenberger
‘…and Jesus finds Phillip and speaks to him: follow me.’ (Jn 1). Four times Phillip is mentioned in the Gospel and always in the Gospel of John. Seeking and finding seems to be a theme belonging to discipleship. After he is found by Jesus Christ, Phillip immediately goes and finds Nathanael and says: we have found the one of whom Moses speaks in the law and the prophets have written about…’
What does it take to be ‘found’ by Christ, for the spirit world to be able to find the human soul, to become spiritually visible? Maybe it is just as important that not only we humans seek Christ, but can also be found by him.
Then it is Phillip who is again found—by the Greeks on Palm Sunday wanting to see Christ.
(Jn 12: 20-36) Through this request Christ is lifted into a new and moving revelation into the depths of his soul and of the Father. ‘Whoever wants to serve me, must follow me on my path. There where I am, must also be those who will serve me; and those who serve me, my father will honour…Father, reveal your Name!...That you become Sons of the Light’.
Following on the path is not only a self-serving event, it has a universal purpose and goal, a beginning and an end. The obstacles and opportunities which appear underway also disappear again, are transient, keep changing – and keep the door open for every seeking soul to stumble, fall and rise again and keep growing. How can we, too, be found and inspired by other seekers?
Phillip shows another attribute at the Feeding of the Five thousand (Jn 6): he is worthy of and capable of being put to the test by Christ. ‘Where can we buy bread…?’ where upon he gives a very rational, realistic answer by assessing the situation: we don’t have enough money. Founded on this down-to-earth realism, Christ can demonstrate that this is not the only viewpoint which determines what is possible. Money is not the only determining factor in the issue. He can now take what is available, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense, and connect this with another reality. The reality of abundance. It nourishes. Phillip, and therefore all disciples, can learn how being servants of Christ means being able to handle and pass on the possibility of connecting heavenly reality with sober earthly reality, which manifests as nourishing wholeness. Even though the disciples do not exactly understand how this happens yet, like they, we also can apply this approach.
We get a glimpse into the depth of Phillip’s soul in John 14. In this chapter Christ opens his heart like floodgates outpouring his love. Phillip has a name derived from one of the Greek words for love: phileo, to be someone’s friend, to feel deep affection and loyal commitment for someone, to have a conscious personal heart-to-heart relationship with someone. But Christ is fulfilling his mission by giving birth to a new elevated love-power, seeding it into the human soul. ‘Show us the Father’ Phillip asks. And elicits an answer which can kindle this new fire of love in heart and spirit. The response, which crescendos in John 17, in essence is: keep following me, keep walking with me alive in your heart. I am laying into your soul the seed of what is be your goal, the purpose and fulfilment of your being. You carry it as a seed potential within you now. Be underway with your Self and focused, as it grows into new unknown dimensions. Dare yourself to live out of this source from now on.
Phillip from the talks on the twelve apostles of the New Jerusalem
by Rev. Michaël Merle
Jesus finds Phillip. Phillip is from the same city as Andrew and Simon Peter, but unlike the brothers Phillip is not a fisherman. It is likely, however, that Phillip is from the same group of seekers in that city. His name is Greek although he is Hebrew. It is therefore likely that he has a Hebrew name as well, but goes by a Greek name because of an occupation that may be that of a scribe or a writer. His name means ‘lover of horses’ or ‘the lover’. We have the Man and the Lover. In mythology the horse is always the symbol of thinking. Therefore to ride a horse in mythology means to have mastery over one’s thinking.
Phillip is the disciple who finds Nathaniel. Nathaniel is also looking. His name, ending in ‘el’ connects him and that which he is seeking with the Father God. When Phillip tells Nathaniel that he has found the fulfilment of the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets this places who Phillip is speaking of in a clear lineage. However, when Phillip says that Jesus is from Nazareth Nathaniel is doubtful. Phillip’s response is marvellous: “Come and see”, in other words, ‘answer your own question’.
The fifth Foundation Stone of the New Jerusalem is inscribed with Phillip’s name which is sardonyx. Sardonyx is connected with Scorpio. Sardonyx has bands of white and red and may be called the stone of flesh and blood. Sardonyx is linked with the soul quality of patience that must be transformed into discernment. It is only with discernment, that is human insight impregnated by the spirit, that the human being is able to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
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