LIVE@5 – Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Acts 8:26–40 (NKJV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;Acts 8:26-33
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”
Philip, a very effective evangelist, is led by the Lord to an Ethiopian man, counsel to the queen of his nation, a Gentile. God instructs Philip to go to him, with no other specific instruction. Once he obeyed God, the dialogue began, as the Ethiopian was puzzled by a prophecy of Isaiah. The interesting feature of this exchange is the way that God takes Philip to a place and a person and only gives him partial instructions. This signifies the degree to which the disciples followed the leadership of the Holy Spirit one step at a time. Too often, Christians today need a detailed plan that has every step lined out in order to feel confident. The blind faith of the Biblical disciples is a bold example of how one should follow God no matter how unclear or incomplete the instructions are at the moment, knowing that God will fill in the details as one goes. This was based on an utter and complete faith in God, and on an intimate and daily relationship with God.
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”Acts 8:34-40
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
As they went along and discussed the passage from Isaiah, Philip explained Jesus’ fulfillment of this prophecy and the Ethiopian eunuch professed faith in Christ and requested to be baptized. This conversion happened quickly and the convert began his walk with Christ. As soon as the baptism was complete, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip up and deposited him some 15 to 20 miles away in Azotus, or Ashdod. We hear no more about the eunuch, but we do see that Philip begins to move up the coastline of Judea, preaching the gospel as he went along his 40 to 50 mile journey up the coast of the Mediterranean.
This evangelist, who helped win Samaria for Christ, was miraculously used of God. How can we learn from him? The most important things to gather from his example is complete trust in God, a bold witness, and a willingness to approach the impossible as probable through the power of the Holy Spirit. Be like Philip today. Walk closely with Christ through the Holy Spirit and boldly witness the power of God to others as He leads. This will bring revival to those around you and you will see miracles.
Artwork from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1nkACbzuEU