Philip’s Legacy

“The Apostle Philip was hung on a tree upside down with irons in his heels and ankles in Hierapolis in Asia Minor (Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2011).”

Statue of Apostle Philip on Saint Isaac's cath...

Image via Wikipedia

For many years I have used a simple song, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” to memorize the names of the twelve apostles. The words are: “Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Then came Philip, Thomas two, Matthew and Bartholomew. James the one they call the less, Simon also and Thaddeus, the twelve apostles Judas made, Jesus was by him betrayed. Yes, Jesus called them, yes Jesus called them, yes Jesus called them, he called them one by one.”

A few of these great men are mentioned more often than others, nevertheless, each, having been called by Jesus, did excellent jobs of spreading the gospel. A reward awaits each: their names will be seen eternally in the twelve foundation stones of the Holy City, New Jerusalem.

Let’s think about Philip. He was born in Bethsaida on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44, 12:21). He had a long career after the resurrection which is recounted in the apocryphal Acts of Philip. He was “dispatched with his sister Mariamne and Bartholomew, another apostle with whom his is often paired, to preach in Greece, Syria and Asia Minor. In Phrygia in western Asia Minor, the threesome came to Ophiorhyme; that is, “Serpent’s Town,” so-called because the inhabitants worshipped serpents and a viper called Echidna.98023489r48989 Images of the viper and serpents filled the town, including the serpent temple with its statue of Echidna. The preaching of Philip and his colleagues, however, brought many of the townspeople to Jesus (Ibid)”.

It is said that Nicanora, wife of the pagan proconsul, fell ill with various diseases, especially to her eyes. Philip ministered to her in Hebrew and she cried out that she was a Hebrew! She was healed of her disease and troubles and became a Christian. Her husband, a worshipper of snakes, ‘raged like an unbroken horse’. Nicanora urged her husband to forsake the filth of the serpent-worship, but he refused. Instead, he had Philip, Mariamne, and Bartholomew beaten and scourged with thongs of raw hide and then dragged through the streets to the serpent temple. Philip and Bartholomew were ‘hanged head downwards’. Some of the faithful ran to take Philip down from the tree but he admonished them to let him die in that manner.

A memorial was later built to Philip on his supposed grave site, but a greater legacy was the many people who found Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Rev. Raymond Parnell is Pastor Emeritus of Christ Memorial Temple in Lafayette, Indiana.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply