Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Acts 8:26-40

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27 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.
32 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?" 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36-37 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?" 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 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.

Questions to consider:

• What instructions does Philip receive from the angel?
• How has God already prepared the eunuch to receive the message of Christ? In what ways has God prepared you for His Good News?
• How does Philip initiate the conversation? When does he start talking about the Gospel?
• What is the last impression you have of the eunuch?
• Does this story influence the way you think about sharing the Good News with someone, maybe even today?

Possibilities for prayer:

God is really great about presenting us with opportunities to share the Good News with others, if we’re open to seeing them. Let’s pray that God would show us the people that He’s placed in our lives to be open with about faith, and that He’d give us the courage to be truly vulnerable and honest. If there are people in your life that you are already in conversation with about faith, pray that God would be speaking to them and softening their hearts, and that He would be continually giving you wisdom in how best to share with them.