Phillip was one of Jesus’s disciples. How did Phillip meet Jesus? John 1:43 says, “The next day Jesus purposed to go in to Galilee, and He found Philip, And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me!’” As a result, Phillip became a follower of Jesus. Phillip was so excited about finding Jesus that he wanted to tell one of his closest friends whose name is Nathanael. So how does Phillip invite Nathanael? Notice two things.
First of all, he's very intentional. He doesn't go, “You know, Jesus, it's really been great meeting you. I'd love my friend Nathanael to get to know you and if I happen to come across Nathanael, I'll mention you to him.” That's not what he does. Look at what he does do in the next verse. It says, “Phillip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses and the law and also the prophets wrote. It's Jesus of Nazareth.’” He's intentional. He makes it a priority. He basically says, “If I don't do anything else, I'm going to invite my friend Nathanael to come see Jesus.”
Imagine what would happen if every believer had that mind-set going in to this next weekend. I wonder what would happen if each of us would say, “If I don't accomplish anything else the rest of this week, there is a certain person this week that I'm going to be sure that I invite to come to church with me this Sunday.”
Not only was Phillip intentional, he also took the initiative. In this story, Nathanael gives some pushback to Phillip’s invitation. Have you ever invited someone to church and they gave you some pushback? They looked at you and said, “If I came to church the roof would cave in!” Nathanael does just that and gives some pushback but it doesn't detour Phillip. He still takes the initiative.
You see Nathanael’s pushback in verse 46 when he asks, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Culturally, Nazareth was not the place travel agents planned vacations to in that day. In fact, it was called by some “the city of garbage.” It wasn't a place that people wanted to go visit. So when Phillip says to Nathanael, “Hey, I found the messiah, he's from Nazareth,” Nathanael basically says, “Whoa, can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
I love what Phillip does. He doesn't argue the point. He doesn't try to explain it. He just looks at him and responds with three powerful words. He looks at Nathanael and simply says, “Come and see!” I love those words - Just “come and see.”
And what was the result? Was it effective? Look at verse number 49. It says, “Nathanael answers Jesus and says, Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the king of Israel.” Nathanael comes to follow Jesus because Phillip said three words to him - “Come and see.”
Folks, listen. Good things happen when you invite people to church!