Scripture – Acts 8:26-40
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet, Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.”
So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 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 silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”
He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
Many people find themselves in a spiritual wilderness. The truth about God is out there, somewhere. They search and yearn for God, visit sacred places in hopes of finding God, listen to preaching, and read the Bible, but still feel like outsiders to the life in God they desire. God remains distant, unrelatable, a puzzle. God’s prevenient grace is ever present with them, but they can’t sense it or receive it.
Such was the case of the Ethiopian eunuch, a powerful chief treasurer of the wealthy kingdom. He traveled over 2,200 miles through harsh wilderness roads by chariot to worship in Jerusalem. On the way back to Ethiopia, he’s going on a wilderness road in his chariot, reading an Old Testament passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He doesn’t understand it or make sense of what he is reading He needs someone to interpret it for him. Then, along comes Phillip. Phillip guides the eunuch to understand the Scriptures; he proclaims the Jesus of the Scriptures and Lord of life to the eunuch. Phillip then baptizes the eunuch into the faith and fellowship of believers and sends him on the way back to Ethiopia as an ambassador for Christ to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
The Church of today needs more Phillips in our schools, workplace, and communities which can lead people out of their spiritual wilderness. That is people who can answer the questions of others that find themselves in a spiritual wilderness. They can point others to Jesus’ saving, healing, liberating, and indwelling significance. The Phillips of today are sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They are willing to cross boundaries (ethnic, racial, cultural, geographic, political, social, economic, etc.). They know and can handle the Scripture with confidence and can interpret it in a winsome way. They can talk about Christ in a personal way because they are in a relationship with him. And, they can lead others to give their lives to Christ.
“People Need The Lord” by Steve Green
Every day they pass me by I can see it in their eye
Empty people filled with care Headed who knows where
On they go through private pain Living fear to fear
Laughter hides the silent cries Only Jesus hears
People need the Lord People need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door
People need the Lord People need the Lord
When will we realize People need the Lord
We are called to take His light To a world where wrong seems right
What could be too great a cost For sharing life with one who’s lost
Through His love, our hearts can feel all the grief they bear
They must hear the words of life Only we can share [Chorus]