Reading For Monday Acts 8:26-40
Persecution scattered the believers, and the witness began to spread in the geographical pattern prescribed in chapter one. Philip made his way to Samaria and proclaimed Christ. Philip is now directed by an angel to the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza. While traveling along, Philip comes across a distinguished African. He was a court official for Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. This man may also have been a Jew. He is probably returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and is sitting in his chariot reading from a scroll of Isaiah.
The Spirit bid Philip go over to the chariot and Philip complied and ran up to him. As he arrives at the chariot, he discovers that this man was reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip offers to help him understand the scriptures. The Ethiopian invites Philip to come up and join him. Together they read about the suffering servant of God, from Isaiah 53. Jesus is described as a sacrificial lamb. Jesus is the servant of God who goes defenseless and humiliated to his death. The man wants to know if the passage is about the prophet or someone else. Philip began with this scripture and told this man the good news about Jesus.
As they were traveling along the road together, they come upon a body of water. The man responds demonstrates the fruit of faith in obedience and asks to be baptized. The chariot is ordered to stop, and they both go down into the water, and the Ethiopian is baptized. The Holy Spirit then carried Philip away, and the Ethiopian saw him no more. He continued his journey with great joy. Philip found himself at Azotus and continued evangelizing in all the towns as he made his way northward to Caesarea, which apparently became his home (Acts 21:8–9).
Things To Consider:
- Philip was directed by an angel, how does God lead us today?
- Why is the activity of the Holy Spirit needed in evangelism?
- How can evangelism be risky?
- How does Isaiah point to Jesus?
- How are obedience and faith connected?
- Why should someone be baptized?
- How does salvation bring about joy?