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I noticed again today how John adds details to his narrative in such a way, it gets me to wonder…why?
For example, today he writes how some Greeks wanted to see Jesus. So they came to Philip, who then “went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.” (vs 22) Why would John be so detailed to tell us that?
Then Jesus tells them about the cost of discipleship and says these encouraging words, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (vs.26)
Did John give the detail about Andrew and Philip for a reason? Well, I have a theory….😄
I Googled the two disciples. Apparently Andrew and Philip are the only apostles that had Greek names (although John clarified that these apostles both came from Galilee, vs 20) So, perhaps the God-fearing Greeks (we know that they were God fearing because they were worshipping at the feast -vs.20) sought out an apostle with a name familiar to them, thinking they had some sort of Greek bond or connection.
It’s possible that their Greek names opened up doors, for Andrew and Philip, to preach to the areas they went after Jesus returned to heaven. Remember, the 12 dispersed after receiving the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. God gave them new tongues to speak in other countries and off they went; Peter ultimately to Italy, Matthew and Thaddeus to Iran, and Thomas to Afghanistan.
According to Hippolytus, a theologian alive during 170-235 AD, says that Andrew, along with Matthias (the apostle chosen to replace Judas) headed to modern day Georgia/Bulgaria to spread the gospel. Matthias went back to Jerusalem but tradition says that Andrew was martyred in the town of Achaea in Greece.
As for Philip, non-canonical writings say he went to preach in Greece, Phrygia (Turkey) and Syria. He was then mattered in the city of Hierapolis, Turkey. (Don’t confuse Philip the Apostle with Philip the Evangelist we read about in Acts. They are two different men explained in Acts 6:5)
Isn’t it interesting that the two that brought the Greeks to Jesus ended up going to Greece to share the Good News with the Greeks? I think they must have recalled the words of Jesus, “If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”, as each preached to the Greeks. What comfort they must have had, as they clung to those words straight from the mouth of Jesus, as they were martyred for their preaching.