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Daily Devotional: Tuesday 17th March

by William Moody

Acts 8:26–40

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south1 to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

  “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he opens not his mouth.
33   In his humiliation justice was denied him.
    Who can describe his generation?
  For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”2 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Footnotes

[1] 8:26 Or go at about noon
[2] 8:36 Some manuscripts add all or most of verse 37: And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

(ESV)

Philip was used because he was willing to be led by God (v26). He drew alongside this important official who was on his way home from worshipping at Jerusalem and he was reading from the book of Isaiah (v27-30).

One of the wonderful things, is that God is often causing people to seek after Christ who we are unaware of. Our task is to keep watching for them.

Philip explains the meaning of Isaiah 53 and teaches the man about Jesus (v31-35). Here we see the wonder of a prophecy written over 700 years before Jesus was born, speaking so clearly about His suffering.

God’s grace brought the eunuch to faith and he responded with a request for baptism (v36-38). Here we see how suddenly a life can be changed forever.

Are you willing to pray for an opportunity like this to open up the scriptures to someone this week?

Philip is taken away by the Spirit and continues preaching the Gospel (v39-40). There was no sitting back, the Gospel always needs to be advanced. Pray about you being more involved in the advance of the Gospel.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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