Wednesday | Sep, 2
With the Ethiopian
According to Acts 8:26-39, Philip’s next contact was with the Ethiopian treasury administrator, bringing mission another step toward “the end of the earth” (Acts. 1:8, NKJV). Philip was the link between Samaria and the Gaza mission. From Samaria, north of Jerusalem, Philip was called to Gaza, which is south of the city. His work in the north focused on a group; here it focused on a single person. In Samaria, Philip could proclaim Christ only from the five books of Moses, for this was all the Samaritans accepted; here he could also use the book of Isaiah, probably in Greek translation.
Read Acts 8:26-39. As you do, answer the following questions: What were the texts in Isaiah (from Isaiah 53) that the Ethiopian was reading, and why would they have given Philip the perfect opportunity to evangelize him?
In contrast to Philip’s work in Samaria, where he did miracles (Acts 8:6), all he did with the Ethiopian was study the Bible. What point can we take away from this for ourselves as we minister to others?
The spirit of the Lord called Phillip away as soon as he had finished explaining the “good news about Jesus” and had baptized the Ethiopian. Philip had no opportunity to transmit his beliefs and teachings to his new convert. The Ethiopian was left to embrace the Christian faith in the context of his African culture, guided by the Old Testament and the Spirit of God, which had already been working in him, for he already was a worshiper of the Lord and a believer in His Word.
Philip explained to the Ethiopian crucial Old Testament texts about the death of Jesus. Why must Jesus, His death and resurrection, be central to the message we give to the world? What is our message without Him?