43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Beginning with 1:43, the narrative in John now shifts predominantly to the message of Jesus from that of John the Baptist.
The following day
The words “next day” show another change of setting. Jesus moved the scene to Galilee, His home region. This was the last of four successive days in this chapter.
Jesus wanted to go to Galilee,
Jesus was with the Baptizer, but He wanted to go to Galilee in northern Israel. He was beginning His public ministry.
and He [Jesus] found Philip and said to him,
“Philip” was one of the Twelve (Jn 6:5-7; 12:20-26; 14:8-9). He “found” Philip in order to challenge him to “follow” Him. “Found” occurs two other times a couple verses later (v. 45).
The Lord’s challenge to Philip to “follow Me” was the first explicit call to commit to Jesus. The present tense indicates that Philip was to “keep on following” Jesus.
Now Philip was from Bethsaida [house of fishing],
“Bethsaida” was a fishing town on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, just east of the mouth of the Jordan River. Politically the city was under the territory of Herod Philip. Today it has all but disappeared, just as Jesus said it would (Mt 11:21-22).
the city of Andrew and Peter.
Bethsaida was the hometown of Philip, Andrew, and Peter. They later relocated to Capernaum. Jesus also moved to Capernaum from Nazareth (Mt 4:13).
The best argument for Christianity is Christians who live out what they believe.
The best argument for Christianity is Christians. When non-Christians see the believer’s certainty and joy, that is attractive to them. However, when they observe his equivocation, self-righteous and priggish attitudes, and joylessness, they become repulsed at what they see. Christianity dies a thousand deaths by the believer’s negative attitudes and behavior.
Christians need to learn how to relate as the “salt of the earth” to unbelievers. Salt cannot be effective if it stays in the shaker. Christians must get out of the shaker of their closed relationship circle to relate meaningfully to the world. We need to develop a whole new web of relationships with non-Christians. Christians have a tendency to huddle in their religious club called a church, interfacing very little with those who do not have Christ. Where is our significant relationship with non-Christians? Jesus was called “a friend of sinners.”