This week I want to start off with some verses from God’s word, “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. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” Acts 8:26-36, 38-40
In this passage an angel comes to Philip and tells him to go to a road between Jerusalem and Gaza. Then, when he came to where he was told to go, there was a man who was a court official who was probably Jewish or interested in Judaism, because he was on the road from Jerusalem and was reading a passage from Isaiah. Phillip went over and saw he was reading the Torah, specifically the book of Isaiah, he explained what the passage meant. We don’t know exactly what Philip said, but based on the passage we can guess that he explained that Isaiah was prophesying about Jesus. Sharing with him that Jesus was killed by crucifixion on Passover, showing that He was the one true Passover lamb, so that we no longer need to sacrifice to atone for our sins, because Jesus had done it once and for all. He obviously explained what it means to be baptized and the official believed and was baptized. I wonder what became of this official, was he able to use his influence and wealth to start a church in Ethiopia?
What if Philip had not listened to the prompting of the Spirit? Would this official ever have been reached with the gospel? And what about the ones the official reached? I think that there is a time for sitting under the teaching of the Word and learning, but there is also a time for going out and sharing your faith with others. Yes, you will need to know how to answer questions, but sometimes here in America, I feel we have been in the learning stage our entire lives, and never take that step to go out and share our faith with someone. We have turned Christianity into something of consumption or a religious duty, instead of something we are actively participating in, like they did in the Bible. There are so many ways to serve, whether in person or online, there are ways you can serve others right where you are with the abilities God has given you.
I think that the official was expecting to meet with God by going to Jerusalem, but did not, or was confused by what he learned, so he was seeking God on the way home. God meets with those who seek Him, I know that we have to seek God every day to grow in our relationship with Him. In the same way that we would grow a relationship with someone by spending time with them, our relationship with God is no exception. The way we can spend time with God is by praying, reading His word, by serving others, and by doing His will.
I know that it was no mistake that Philip was sent to the official that day, it was a divine appointment. God sent his messenger to meet with the official for a specific reason, so that he could hear the gospel. For someone this may be your day, it is no mistake you found this content or clicked on this link, you are here for a reason. Maybe it is to hear the gospel. The facts are that there is only one way to bridge the gap between you and God and that is by admitting that you are a sinner, believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and confessing Him as Lord of your life. So this week, know that Jesus loves you and you can meet with Him wherever you are; all you have to do is pray and/or read the Bible to meet with the Creator of the universe. Remember that there is a time for learning and a time for serving and for some of us the Spirit is telling us that it is our time to serve.