God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Acts 8:26–40: Philip encounters an Ethiopian official who was returning home from Jerusalem and who was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. Philip explains the meaning of the passage and tells him the Good News about Jesus. They come upon a body of water, and the Ethiopian asks Philip to baptize him.
26 An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This road is not used nowadays.) 27-28 So Philip got ready and went. Now an Ethiopian eunuch, who was an important official in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was going back home in his carriage. As he rode along, he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that carriage and stay close to it.” 30 Philip ran over and heard him reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 The official replied, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to climb up and sit in the carriage with him. 32 The passage of scripture which he was reading was this:
“He was like a sheep that is taken to be slaughtered,
like a lamb that makes no sound when its wool is cut off.
He did not say a word.
33 He was humiliated, and justice was denied him.
No one will be able to tell about his descendants,
because his life on earth has come to an end.”
34 The official asked Philip, “Tell me, of whom is the prophet saying this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip began to speak; starting from this passage of scripture, he told him the Good News about Jesus. 36 As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water, and the official said, “Here is some water. What is to keep me from being baptized?” 37
38 The official ordered the carriage to stop, and both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The official did not see him again, but continued on his way, full of joy. 40 Philip found himself in Azotus; he went on to Caesarea, and on the way he preached the Good News in every town.
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 8:38
The official ordered the carriage to stop, and both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
What happened when Philip explained the Good News about Jesus to the Ethiopian official? Have you ever told anyone about Jesus? If so, what did you say and how did the person react?
Lord God, your Spirit fills me with joy. Empower me to share the Good News about Jesus and your saving love for all people. Amen.
Acts 9:1–25: Saul, a persecutor of the Church, is converted.