Day 24: Meaningful Meetings
Quoted from Acts 8.30-39 in The Message
Dear Lord, As we listen to this story of the Ethiopian Eunuch, help us to understand how broad the reach of your message is.
“30The Spirit told Philip, "Climb into the chariot." Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, "Do you understand what you're reading?"
31-33He answered, "How can I without some help?" and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this:
As a sheep led to slaughter,
and quiet as a lamb being sheared,
He was silent, saying nothing.
He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial.
But who now can count his kin
since he's been taken from the earth?
34-35The eunuch said, "Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?" Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
36-39As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, "Here's water. Why can't I be baptized?" He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn't mind. He had[…]”
This Excerpt is From: Eugene H. Peterson. “The Message.” iBooks.
I love this story, which is why I am quoting it verbatim from THE MESSAGE. Listen to Willimon’s description of this meeting: “The eunuch Philip encounters on the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza is described in considerable detail. Contrary to popular interpretation, he [the eunuch] need not be a castrated male who was excluded from the temple (Deut. 23:1). Rather, we are reading a story about an important man, a foreigner, though possibly a Jew, a powerful person who has much power and authority as the queen’s minister—except the power to understand the word of God. Yet he is willing to be instructed by Philip in ‘the good news of Jesus” (8:35).’”
Powerful people who have an abundance of material resources at their finger tips still need help understanding the Word of God. In the eyes of God everyone is included, and everyone has value. This powerful man needs Philip—one of the seven chosen to help the apostles out. Whom in your life has help you to understand God’s Word? Whom have you helped?
PRAYER RECAP: Dear Lord, help us to remember and thank those who have shared Your Word with us. Help us also to share Your Word with others. Help us to listen as Philip listened, seeking only to follow Your Holy Spirit’s promptings. Amen.