In this text, we move from seeing the disciples and apostles bring crowds to faith in Jesus as Savior to seeing Philip share the Gospel one-on-one with the Ethiopian eunuch. Even though the Ethiopian had been to Jerusalem to worship as mandated by Old Testament law for those that believed in Yahweh, he wasn’t accepted as a fellow believer by the Jewish people. It wasn’t until 1973 that Jewish religious authorities accepted Ethiopian Jews as Jewish. Along with his ethnicity, he was a eunuch. The Jewish leaders still held to the law in Deuteronomy 23:1 that forbids those “who have been emasculated by crushing or cutting” from entering the assembly of the Lord.
But Philip, beginning with the scripture that the eunuch was reading continues and then tells him the Gospel. I have to think that Philip, after reading what the man had been reading continued in Isaiah at least through Isaiah 56:3-7 which states, “… And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Imagine how that must have affected the Ethiopian. While we are not told here when or how he became a eunuch, since then, he believed that he was unacceptable to God. But, even believing that he followed Jewish law and went to the Temple. A place he couldn’t enter beyond the outer corridors, but he went. And now, he is being told ““To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— 5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever.”
Philip tells him that all he has to do is have faith that Jesus is the Son of God. Since he had gone to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, we know that the man was already keeping Old Testament law. Now, because Philip shared the Gospel with him, he had faith in Jesus and came to believe that God didn’t find him detestable but instead loved him.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Father God, we praise you and thank you that you are with us and do not forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Forgive us for the times we dismiss the directions of your messengers in favor of going our own way. Thank you for the trust you place in us to bring the message of salvation to others. Help us hear you and follow your instructions. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Monday, September 26, 2022
“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, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”
Lord, we praise and thank you for making a way for those who were once thought unworthy to enter into your covenant. (Isaiah 53:5) Forgive us for the times that we do not take the time to help others understand your word and the times that we act on our own understanding instead of turning to you. Help us listen for clarity from you in all things. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
“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. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
Lord, we praise you for your perfect word which restores our souls. (Psalm 19:7) Father, your word points us to Jesus and it is in your word that we learn to be like him. Help us to always look to Scripture as our example and teacher and may everything we think, say, and do bring honor and glory to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”
Lord, we praise you for giving us your word that leads us to salvation! (2 Tim. 3:14-15) Lord, Philip spoke Jesus to the man who sought a deeper understanding of your word. Help us to always speak Jesus to those seeking salvation. We pray this in the name of your Son and our Savior Jesus, Amen
Thursday, September 29, 2022
“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?” 37 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.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”
Father, you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love. (Psalm 145:8) Thank you for the grace that you extend to us when we come to you believing in Jesus as your Son and our Savior. Help us extend your grace to others as we share the Gospel with them. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen
Friday, September 30, 2022
“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. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”
Lord, I praise your majestic name! (Psalm 8:9) I thank you Father for the people you put in my life that taught me about Jesus. While you call to us in the womb, it is the people who listen to your call that help bring us into your grace. May I be for others what they were to me. In Jesus’ blessed name we pray, Amen.
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Let everything that has breath join together in praise of you Lord! (Psalm 150:6) We anxiously await worship tomorrow. While we worship you daily, there is something so special about raising our voices in praise with our church family. Clear our minds of anything that hinders our complete surrender to you and prepare our hearts to hear your word. We lift up our teachers and preachers as they prepare to share your message. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.