The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1: 43 -44.”
The above narrative is not only a story of the first disciples of Christ but also a story of good friends. A story of Philip and Nathanael who were good friends.
Jesus found Philip. Philip could not keep the good for himself. He introduced his good friend Nathanael to Jesus.
Nathanael although sceptical at first, was blown away by Jesus’ prophecy about him and became one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.
Tradition has it that he became a missionary to India and to Armenia and is the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Without Philip there would have been no Nathanael as we know him. If not for Philip, perhaps Nathanael would have lived an ordinary life in Bethsaida. He would not have become an Apostle of Jesus, who brought the good news to so many souls. Philip changed the trajectory of Nathanael’s life.
Do you have a friend or a relative that changed the trajectory of your life? If not for such a friend, how differently would your life have turned out?
Well, by the grace of God I’ve had such a friend. Like Nathanael, after Form 5, I was quite lost. What should I study? Where should I go? Should I stay and try to get into a local university? Or go overseas? During my time, there was a quota system, and it was difficult to enter the local university. But I decided to try Form 6.
However, after 1 month of Form 6, I realised that this was not for me, and the chances of my entering any local university were next to nil. What was I to do?
That’s when PL an old school friend stepped in and encouraged me to try to enter Taylor’s college, South Australian Matriculation. And then go to a University in Australia. She was studying in that same college. The fees were still reasonable and were subsidised by the Australian Government.
But I was late in entering Taylor’s college. I only managed to get in in June. Besides missing out school from Feb – June, I was enrolled for 2 other subjects I had never studied before, English literature and Economics (I was from the Science stream), and the exams were in November.
Again, PL came in. She said “You can come to my house every day. We can go through the books and notes together, and you can try to catch up.”
My friend PL generously shared her books and notes and time with me. We studied together every day and I sat for my exams and did well enough to get into Sydney University Law School.
Upon reflection, PL changed the trajectory of my life. If not for her, I would never have managed to go to Australia and complete my law degree and had a 22-year career as a lawyer. I met PL recently and expressed my gratitude to her. All she said was an unassuming “no lah, you studied hard by yourself.”
God placed PL in my life and her friendship changed everything for me.
I am certain most of us have a friend or friends who was to us like Philip was to Nathanael? Or you are a Philip to a Nathanael? Such a friend is a gift from God.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17.
All I can say is, “Thank you, my friend.”