Letting Jesus Down
We don't know much at all about this James, but we know a little more about Philip. He has a Greek rather than Semitic name, and it is to him that the Greeks who want to see Jesus (in the Gospel of John) petition for an audience. Perhaps because he was a Greek, too.
A few years ago, a wonderful local actor named Brad Sherrill put on a one man show of a reading of the New International Version (NIV) of the Gospel of John. A group of us went to see it in a small theater and I sat on one of the front rows (it was in the round). One of the things Mr. Sherrill does is to pick out certain seats that will be the place where he speaks to particular characters in the performance, and it turned out that I was sitting in the seat of Philip.
The first time Philip is mentioned in the Gospel is in Chapter 1, when Jesus is calling his disciples. Verse 43 says that he decided to go to Gaililee and found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Mr. Sherrill stood in front of me and said "Follow me" right to me. I sat up a little taller in my seat. And then he pointed to me and said, "Philip found Nathan and said to him....." and pointed to the seat where "Nathan" was. It was all quite engaging.
Unfortunately, later, as Jesus is giving his farewell speech to the disciples, Philip comes in again. Jesus said to the disciples, "If you know me, you know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." And Philip says, "Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied." Of course, Mr. Sherrill was standing right in front of me as he said these lines. And then he looked at me and quoted Jesus' last word to Philip: "Have you been with me all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?"
I was crushed. How I had let Jesus down.
It was a great performance. If you get the chance, you should see it. It's just the Gospel, read, with a few props. You really get the story when you hear it all in one piece - even more so for John, I think.
I hope your day today will not include feelings of letting Jesus down!