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The Wisest Fool (10 of 16)
Philip-The Man Who Made a City Glad
Clarence E. Macartney
When we speak of John or Peter we say "the apostle
John," "the apostle Peter," but when we speak of Paul
we almost always say "Paul the apostle," as if he
were, and indeed in many respects he was, the
preeminent one among all the apostles of the Lord.
Likewise when we speak of Philip we do not say "the
Evangelist Philip," but always, as the book of Acts
names him, "Philip the evangelist." He stands at the
head of all the evangelists, not only because he is
the first so named, but because of what he was and
what he did in the name of Christ.
Philip the evangelist is not to be confused with the
other Philip, who is one of the twelve apostles. This
Philip was one of the Seven who were chosen by the
Christian disciples at Jerusalem to administer the
charities of the church. The church at the very
beginning felt its obligation to the poor and needy;
but as usual there were complainers and faultfinders.
Some of the Christians of Greek blood and background
complained that their widows and other needy ones were
discriminated against in the distribution of alms in
favor of the needy who were Jewish-Christians. The
apostles felt that they could not turn aside from
their special ministry of preaching and prayer to look
after this matter, and therefore they instructed the
disciples at Jerusalem to select seven men of good
report to administer the charity of the church. They
are often spoken of as deacons, but that name is not
given to them in the book of Acts. Two of the Seven
achieved an immortality of fame-Stephen, the first
martyr, and Philip the evangelist.
After the death of Stephen a fierce persecution broke
out against the Christians at Jerusalem, and the chief
persecutor was Saul of Tarsus, who had held the
garments of those who had stoned Stephen. Great
numbers of the believers at Jerusalem fled th ...
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