Sharing the Gospel

 

Here we have it..the first Gentile conversion to Christ!!  This is big indeed.   This is the first step of carrying out the great commission to Samaria and the ends of the earth!!  
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.  Notice here, as when Peter goes to Cornelius, the angelic intervention.  This was no accident!!  Jesus gave his directive directly to his 12 apostles, but they seem to have gotten stuck in Jerusalem.   Going out to Samaria and the ends of the earth, all those unreached people, somehow was not at the top of their priorities.  BUT GOD!!  Yes, God sends one of his angels to Phillip (not one if the apostles in Jerusalem) to get the job done.   Looks like God doesn’t have a problem intervening if we drag our feet getting one if his assignments done.
And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”   So this eunuch was jot just an “average Joe.”  He was a high level member of the Ethiopian government.  He was highly educated.  He obviously had some wealth, because simply have a scroll if the prophet Isaiah (or any other prophet) would be very costly, since books were all hand copied at this time.   
So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  I told you he was smart!!  What a fantastic answer he gives!  To this day, how can any if us understand what we read in the bible unless we are guided in some way??   Interpreting and understanding the bible is something to be undertaken in community, with other believers.  Today we see the results of everyone just inventing rut own meanings for what the bible says… It ends up meaning nothing!!  If any and everyone just decides what it means FOR THEM..then it shows the Bible to have no real meaning at all, which in large part is the intention of many who would us believe the bible means whatever we think it means…
Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.   Perfect!!  He was reading the perfect scripture predicting what would happen to Jesus.  This Eunuch had just left Jerusalem, and had probably heard about what had happened to Jesus, and also what was being said about Him.  So Phillip began right there, and used the Bible to bring the Good News about Jesus.  Just as we are called to do 2000 years later!!   Jesus is not about the bible – The Bible is about Jesus.  This is how we are to use the Bible – to bring people to Christ!!  Not to condemn, not to judge.  But to share the good news of the light of the world!!
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.”  No need to wait for perfect conditions!!  This man was saved and wanted to announce it to the world!!  Once the proclamation of faith was made, Phillip was not needed anymore, God took him off to the next task.  The eunuch wasted no time wondering what happened, he was off celebrating, sharing the gospel.  Church tradition has it that this is the man who took the Gospel into Ethiopia first.  True or not, this is one of the best examples of evangelism in the bible.  What a fantastic story…



“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”

And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:26-36, 38-39‬ ‭ESV‬‬


John Lewis

 
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