Philip, Paul, Luke and a story.

Saul went from house to house, looking for Christians, sending them to prison. Philip left Jerusalem and went to Samaria to preach. To most people around Philip, that would be like a Yankees fan choosing to go to Boston.

To Philip, it was merely doing what Jesus had said to do. When you make disciples, Jesus said, after Jerusalem comes Judea. After Judea comes Samaria.  Philip was pretty effective.  Luke writes, “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.”

Eventually, Peter and John had to come to Samaria to do more teaching. And Philip moved on. Luke writes, “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'”

Standing along the road, he heard a man in a chariot reading from Isaiah. He listened to the guy and started to talk with him about what he was reading. In great detail, we read Luke’s story of their conversation. Then we read about Philip being whisked away by God to a city by the sea. He started preaching again as he walked up the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea. He apparently settled there and disappears from the Bible until Luke and Paul show up at his house.

Luke probably asked him, “So do you know any stories from Jerusalem, from the early days?” And Philip told him the whole story, from persecution to family man.  And now the man who drove Philip from his home is himself homeless.

So what did it say to those daughters, to Luke, to Paul, to the rest of us for Philip to welcome Paul?

I’m guessing Philip just shrugged and said, “It’s just another story of grace. Can I get you more wine?”


The story of a dad: part one

The story of a dad: part two