May 16 – Friendship Evangelism (Philip)

The twelve apostles included “Philip” (Matt. 10:3).

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Friendships can provide the most fertile soil for evangelism.

Philip was probably a fisherman who was acquainted with Peter, Andrew, James, John, Nathanael, and Thomas prior to their all becoming disciples. We first meet him in John 1:43–46, which says, “The next day [after Jesus encountered Peter and Andrew], He purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip, and Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. … Come and see.’”

Those brief verses reveal two things about Philip. First, he had a seeking heart. Apparently he and Nathanael had studied the Scriptures in anticipation of the Messiah’s coming. When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” Philip was ready. Jeremiah 29:13 describes such a person: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Second, he had the heart of an evangelist. The first thing he did after his own conversion was to lead Nathanael to Christ. Imagine his joy as he told his friend about the One for whom they had searched so long!

I believe friendships usually provide the best context for evangelism because you’re introducing Christ into an already established relationship of love, trust, and mutual respect. After all, it’s only natural to share the joy of your salvation with someone you love.

I pray that your joy overflows to those around you and that they are drawn to Christ because of your testimony.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Do you have unsaved friends? If so, be faithful in praying for their salvation and asking the Lord to use you as an instrument of His grace. If not, ask the Lord to bring unsaved people into your life so you can tell them about Christ.

For Further Study: The Samaritan woman Jesus met at Jacob’s well spoke of Him not only to her friends but also to the entire city. Read John 4:1–42. ✧ What analogy did Jesus use in presenting the gospel to her? ✧ How did Jesus describe true worshipers? ✧ What was the reaction of the city people to the woman’s testimony?[1]


10:3 James the son of Alphaeus. There are 4 men in the NT named James: 1) the Apostle James, brother of John (see note on 4:21); 2) the disciple mentioned here, also called “James the Less” (Mk 15:40); 3) James, father of Judas (not Iscariot, Lk 6:16); and 4) James, the Lord’s half-brother (Gal 1:19; Mk 6:3), who wrote the epistle that bears the name. He also played a leading role in the early Jerusalem Church (Ac 12:17; 15:13; Gal 1:19). Thaddaeus. Elsewhere he is called Judas, son of James (Lk 6:16; Ac 1:13).[2]


10:3 Philip Not mentioned anywhere else in Matthew (compare John 1:43–48; 6:5–7; 12:21–22; 14:8–9). This apostle is not the same as Philip the evangelist in the book of Acts (Acts 6:5; 8:1–8; 21:8)..[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 149). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Mt 10:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Mt 10:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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