Jesus saves. We do not. Jesus died for our sins, for all the sins of the world. We did not. Jesus defeated death and rose again to life forevermore. We have not—yet. Jesus is preparing our forever home for all who believe. Until Jesus comes back again to claim His own, God’s Son was given all authority to pass on His power to his disciples to tell His Story of Redemption as He commissioned them to GO and make disciples. And Jesus was with them in Spirit always. Jesus is with us now. Always.
Before we dive into our passage for today, let’s revisit the command and words of the great commission Jesus bestowed on his disciples before He ascended to heaven:
“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Philip was one of those disciples. An angel comes to Philip with God’s specific message of direction. What did Philip do? “He got up and went.” That is the life of a sold-out disciple whose mission is to help others find and follow Jesus. There is no bargaining with the angel, no questions asked, Philip just got up and went. Philip doesn’t even know who he is to meet but he does know he is willing, watching for opportunity and waiting for God’s timing.
God’s Holy Spirit, left as a gift as promised by Jesus, leads Philip to jump into the carriage of an Ethiopian who was reading from Isaiah. Friends, can you picture Philip running alongside the chariot, out of breath, but led by the Spirit to ask the man if he needs help understanding what he is reading? Maybe this was Philip’s way of getting the driver to slow the chariot down long enough to do what the Spirit told him to do. Either way, God led. Philip obeyed. Philip was INVITED into the chariot to explain the gospel of Jesus. God led. Philip obeyed. A new follower of Jesus now understood the Message, repented of his sins, was saved by grace and then baptized in the nearest stream. Now this new convert can go back to his home to go, tell and make more disciples of Jesus!
The great commission lived out in the life of a disciple, a follower, of Jesus Christ.
ACTS—God’s Acts through His Disciples
Acts 8:26-40, The Message
The Ethiopian Eunuch
26-28 Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.
29-30 The Spirit told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”
31-33 He answered, “How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this:
As a sheep led to slaughter,
and quiet as a lamb being sheared,
He was silent, saying nothing.
He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial.
But who now can count his kin
since he’s been taken from the earth?
34-35 The eunuch said, “Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?” Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
36-39 As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, “Here’s water. Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn’t mind. He had what he’d come for and went on down the road as happy as he could be.
40 Philip showed up in Azotus and continued north, preaching the Message in all the villages along that route until he arrived at Caesarea.
THINK ABOUT IT…
Life with Jesus is an adventure to be sure! The Spirit of God whisks Philip off to his next assignment, leaving a happy converted man who got what he came for—Jesus! It’s all about Jesus, not us. Obedience is easier when we realize it’s all about Jesus.
Willing, watching and waiting for God to act through us while He works in us will always be an adventure! Following Jesus is a life of no regret.
There is no one like You. There is no one else I would rather be with, be led by and follow. We cherish all you do in us and how you act through us. We are grateful for your salvation. You turn our messes into messages that help others find and follow you. Your power is amazing! You work in ways that are beyond our wildest dreams. You provide opportunity to tell Your story. Then you give us the words to say humbly and honestly. It’s really not about us but our obedience to you. Life is all about you. Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole. Thank for growing my faith and hope on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
“I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.