Acts 8.32-40

Philip finds himself sitting with the Ethiopian and reading from Isaiah 53:

Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,
like a sheep silent before her shearers,
he did not even open his mouth…”

(v.7, NET)

In seeking to explain (v.31) Philip began with this Scripture and told the eunuch the good news about Jesus. Rather than start with people, problems, or his own opinion, Philip started with the Scripture at hand and connected it to the good news about Jesus.

In response to hearing the Gospel, the Ethiopian official says “What prevents me from being baptised?” The chariot is stopped and Philip performs a roadside baptism and then, in another miraculous move of the Spirit, Philip is carried away and found himself at Azotus where he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea (cf. Acts 21.8).

All too often we come to the texts of Scripture and try to find things that we have to do for God. When we do, we are fundamentally coming to Christianity like a religion with rules to be followed. Inevitably, we will let ourselves and the Lord down because, as Paul writes to the Corinthians, we are disappointingly human in our own behaviour (1 Corinthians 3.4).

Rather, as Philip did, we ought to come to the text at hand (and all the pages of Scripture) and look for Jesus. If we look for ourselves we are sure to find ourselves; do this, don’t do that, avoid this, change that. But if we look for Jesus and the Gospel we are sure to find that too.

It is so important that we come to Scripture with a Christ-shaped lens. We know that each and every book of the Bible testifies to Him (John 5.39) and whether it be through promise, principle, or prophecy Jesus is there and as we see here with Philip and the eunuch, Jesus can be found beginning with this Scripture, whatever Scripture you are reading.  

 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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