Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Acts 8:26-39 (NKJV) shares the story of Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch. – 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. 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, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 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?” 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. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 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.

Now the Ethiopian eunuch was ready to hear the Gospel. His heart was open. He was open to turning his life over to God, repenting of his sins, and becoming an obedient follower of Jesus Christ. He had been waiting for someone like Philip to explain to him how to get saved.

When Philip realized that the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading out loud the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, which just happened to be the most messianic prophetic chapter in the Old Testament and a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus, Philip knew this was truly a divine appointment. God had directed the evangelist Philip to that location as well as to join that particular chariot. This was not coincidence or accident. Philip was ready to preach, and the Ethiopian was ready to listen and receive. Philip had the word of the Lord, and the Ethiopian was ready to enter the kingdom of God.

Today is a day to either give what God has given you to say to another, or to receive what God wants to speak to your heart. Either be like Philip and give what God would have you to give; or be like the Ethiopian and receive the salvation of God as it comes to the door of your heart. If you do not know God or if you are not sure whether you are saved or not, then read Isaiah 53 and then John 1-4. You will be glad you did and will be able to go on your way rejoicing too!

By Pastor John Snyder

2016-11-11T05:04:28+00:00