Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”

34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”

37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. — Acts 8:26-40.

An angel of the Lord directs Philip southward toward the desert along the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. Philip complies. A eunuch of great authority, who is in charge of all the treasury of Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, is returning home after his visit to Jerusalem to worship. He is sitting in his chariot reading from Isaiah 53. The Spirit directs Philip to overtake the chariot. Philip runs to him, and hearing him reading from Isaiah, asks him if he understands what he is reading.

The eunuch says unless someone guides him, how is he to know. He invites Philip to sit with him in the chariot. He is in Isaiah 53:7, 8. He asks Philip about the identity of the person in the passage. Philip starts at that point of Scripture and preaches Jesus to him. As they go down the road, they come to some water. The eunuch, seeing the water, wants to be baptized. Upon the Ethiopian’s confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Philip and he go down into the water where the eunuch is baptized. When they come up out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit catches Philip away, and the eunuch does not see him any more; he goes on his way rejoicing. But Philip is next found at Azotus. Passing through, he preaches in all the cities till he comes to Caesarea.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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