Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8:26-40)
This morning, while I was reading chapter 8 in the Book of Acts, the above verses caught my attention. A few lessons stood out to me as I studied them:
First, Philip obediently moved forward wherever the Spirit was leading Him. When he was advised to head South, he obeyed. When he was advised to walk alongside a chariot holding a stranger, he obeyed. (v 26-30)
Second, Philip met the eunuch where he was at. When he was invited to jump into the chariot he didn’t say, I haven’t scheduled it on my calendar…let’s grab coffee next week. No, he jumped in. Also, the man was reading specific verse in the Bible and Philip met the man where he was at…”Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” (v 35)
Third, the eunuch listened and then took the next logical step…immediately. “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (v 36)
Fourth, we might walk into another person’s story today for one purpose. “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.” (v 39-40)
These verses reminded me that I don’t want to miss these moments of opportunity in my life as I go about my days. I want to go where I’m being called. I want to be willing to meet others where they are at. I want to be brave enough to take the next step. And then, I want to do it again the next day and the next day after that.