Philip and the Ethiopian
They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. (Acts 2:47)
Today’s Bible story is about the Holy Spirit at work in the life of Philip. The interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian is an example of the amazing things that happen when followers of Jesus allow the Spirit to guide their actions and words.
The Ethiopian in the story was an important official who was responsible for the treasury of the Ethiopian queen. In spite of his status, Jews at that time would have considered him an outsider: He was from Ethiopia, and he was a eunuch. In spite of this, the Ethiopian man was seeking God. He had been to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home when the Spirit sent Philip his way.
Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, had been preaching in Samaria when the Spirit, in the form of an angel, told him to take the road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. On that road Philip encountered the chariot carrying the Ethiopian man. The Spirit guided Philip to keep up with the chariot. As Philip ran by the chariot, he heard the Ethiopian reading aloud as was customary at the time. Philip recognized that the man was reading from the scroll of Isaiah. Philip asked the man if he understood what he was reading, and the man invited him to explain it. At this invitation, Philip told the Ethiopian the good news about Jesus. To one who was considered an outcast, hearing about Jesus, who welcomed society’s outcasts, must have been amazing. The Ethiopian man ended up asking Philip to baptize him.
Philip was willing to follow the Spirit, and as a result he had an opportunity to proclaim the gospel and spread the good news. Be open to the Spirit at work in your own life. When opportunities to share the good news present themselves, be ready.
• We can tell stories about God and Jesus to others.
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