Acts: Day 15 The Ethiopian Eunuch

Event(s): Christ is preached to an Ethiopian
Today’s Text: Acts 8:26-40
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 9:1-19


After the news had reached Peter and John that the Gospel was being spread to the region of Samaria, they came and verified, ministered to the people and prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Their work was done and they returned to Jerusalem. And now our scene shifts back to Philip.

Acts 8:27Arise and go toward the south” As we read in chapter 7, Philip was very active in spreading the message and the acts of the Gospel, reaching multitudes of people. And yet God chooses to pull him away from that “successful” ministry to reach the one, out in a deserted area.

Faithfulness with the small things is actually what qualifies us for the larger things and obedience is a mark of our faithfulness. Even if God enlarges our borders, or increases our level of influence, we never outgrow making time for the one. Jesus modeled this perfectly.

Acts 8:28a eunuch of great authority” To be a eunuch meant this man was most likely castrated. This was very normal protocol in those days, especially with servant men who were placed in high positions of authority because it ensured that a servant could not impregnate royal women and then make claims to the throne.

Acts 8:29Then the Spirit said to Philip” Being the minister of finance, this eunuch was definitely not traveling alone; he was probably part of a very large caravan. Being led by the Spirit didn’t just allow Philip to know where he was supposed to go; it allowed him to know who, specifically, he was being sent to. God knew this man’s heart; He knew that he was ready to receive the truth of Jesus. And so God led Philip straight to him.

Acts 8:30 heard him reading the prophet Isaiah” “Reading aloud was the common method of reading in ancient times, due to the difficulty of deciphering sentences with no spaces between words and no punctuation marks.” –Henry J Cadbury, Bible Scholar

Acts 8:31How can I, unless someone guides me?” There are several verses throughout the Bible which refer to the Holy Spirit as our “Teacher” (John 14:26; Matthew 10:19-20; Luke 12:12; 1 John 2:27 just to name a few.) However having the Spirit of God does not eliminate our need to submit ourselves to teachers of the Word of God.

Acts 8:35beginning at this Scripture” God always meets people right where they’re at. We should learn to do the same.

Acts 8:39the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away” The Lord supernaturally relocated Philip. The Greek word used here for “caught” is harpadzo, which means to seize, snatch away, or to “catch up”. It is the same word used to describe what the rapture of believers will be like when Christ returns for His own (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Personal Takeaway:

Our approach to sharing the Gospel requires the leading of the Holy Spirit so that we do our part in God’s big-picture plan. We’re not here to force the faith upon every single person we come in contact with. We are here to be used by God in whatever way He would like to, so that He is glorified in a person’s life and they can see God’s hand in drawing them to Him.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 tells us we are all workers in God’s field. God may use one of us to plant the seed of the Gospel in someone’s heart, He may use another to come along and water that seed through talking about Jesus, or through acts or words of encouragement, but ultimately, it is the LORD who gives the increase and makes the seed grow. Let us not get overwhelmed when we think reaching people for God; let us just be faithful and obedient in reaching the one(s) God places on our hearts, meeting them where they’re at and communicating what God would have us communicate.

There’s a very easy way to practice and experience what it feels like to be led by the Holy Spirit in this way. Let’s set aside a few moments today to quiet ourselves in God’s presence and ask Him to place someone on our hearts. It could be someone we work with, or a relative we’ve not talked to in a while. It could be an old friend from several years ago. But as God brings them to mind, make them the focus of your prayers and ask God what He would have you say or what ACTion He would have you do, and then do it.

We don’t have to get super spiritual with this. It may just be that you shoot them a text to let them know you were thinking of them. It might be that you write them a card and include a scripture or an encouraging quote that God placed on your heart for them. Or it may even be you give them a call for no other reason than to let them know how much you value them and what they mean to you. God’s love for people is so beautifully revealed when they can see that He knows exactly where they’re at and that He cares enough about them to mobilize the people in His body to pray, encourage, or lift one another up.

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