Devotional

“ As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”” – Acts 8:26-29. 

What stands out in this story is that a very unlikely candidate for conversion to Christ is found and converted through the supernatural leading of the Lord Himself, and not through human planning. Philip recognized that he needed to connect with him because that’s what he needed. That’s the job of a person on a mission. 

The person was from Ethiopia in Africa and had come all the way up to Jerusalem to worship God (v. 27). So out of all the tens of thousands of Jews and Gentiles and Samaritans that need Christ, the Lord sovereignly sets His favor on this man and sends an angel to Philip, and says in verse 26, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 

Philip goes not knowing what God has in mind. But when he gets to the road, the Spirit tells him the next step to take. In verse 29 the Spirit says, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” That’s all he says. Not what for. Nor who is in the chariot. Just go to the chariot. The timing of the Spirit is perfect. At that very moment Philip, no doubt wondering what he would do or say when he got to the chariot, hears the Ethiopian reading out loud the book of Isaiah. 

One of the best evangelistic tools that you have are stuck on the side of your head. It’s your ears. Philip ran up alongside and ask the man if he understood what he is reading. He figured out how to turn the conversation into something spiritual. I think the temptation for us is to never bring up the subject of God. The temptation for us is to talk about our favorite college team or the pandemic, or whatever. At some point, if you’re friends with somebody there’s going to be something that’s going to lead you into a spiritual conversation and you’re going to have to go down that road. The reason most people don’t want to go down that road is that they’re afraid of not having the right answers. 

Philip now knows what the Lord has been doing in directing him to this desolate place where there is one lone chariot and man from Ethiopia. The Lord is having mercy on a man who probably would think that the God of Israel would never care about him. “ So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.” The Ethiopian believed, was baptized (v. 38) along the road, and went on his way rejoicing (v. 39). 

The most important lesson we can learn from Philip’s life is that the Gospel is for everyone: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for anyone willing to receive it. Ask God to create opportunities for you to share the faith and hope you have in Jesus Christ with others.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What part do you have in spreading the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth? In what ways can you play more of a part in this mission?
  2. How does the divine-appointment factor in this story encourage you to share the gospel?