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. (Acts 8:26-39)
As a teacher, I desire for my students to fully comprehend the concepts I am teaching them. As for any teacher, this does not always happen, and more explanation may be needed for understanding. It is a beautiful thing when the light bulb turns on in the head.
This passage is full of instruction for us as we look through the different viewpoints. The Angel of the Lord gets to observe the obedience of Philip as he tells him to “hurry and go south to the desert.” Philip obeys and travels to the south with no other information than the direction he is to go. Philip goes from the populated Samaritan villages to the unpopulated desert. He had to be wondering.
The Ethiopian Eunuch, a well trusted officer and person of great political position, was reading Isaiah and no clue what in the world he was reading (I’ve been there, and you probably have been too) after going to Jerusalem to worship. This meant that he had given up the idolatry of his country, but still did not know the good news of Jesus Christ. The Lord is so good to send Philip to this searching man to help him understand. The eunuch believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and immediately wants to obey God and asks to be baptized. In the middle of the desert, God provides water. Philip baptizes him. No procrastination, no hesitation, just obedience. Don’t forget, this is the middle of the desert… not a lot of water there. Wow, what a gracious God! He is no respecter of persons and hears and answers anyone who is searching for Him! The more I think about this passage, the more I think of how amazing this story is for all of us to realize how God works in our lives even today.
God want us to obey Him, seek Him and to desire more knowledge of Him. As a gracious Heavenly Father, He will help us in our pursuit of godly knowledge. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:8). Are you obeying and drawing nigh?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.