To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2015 Issue – ‘The Servant’
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Acts 8:26-40 (NIVUK): “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means ‘queen of the Ethiopians’). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’
The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptised?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and travelled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”
You may remember that I used some of these verses a few days ago – it is an excellent story.
Selwyn has written a great study for the last day of this current issue. Here are some parts that I liked: “So, beginning with Isaiah 53, Philip preached the good news to the man from Africa. The Ethiopian needed the good news. Although he was rich he had the disadvantage of being an eunuch. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship to worship but had not been allowed to join with the people of the one true God because eunuchs were forbidden into the Temple by the law (Deuteronomy 23:1).”
“The eunuch is a man quite literally ‘cut off from the land of the living’ with no chance of having children of his own. … Philip, inspired by the Spirit, begins to tell him the good news of Jesus who was Himself cut off from the land of the living. The Ethiopian believes in God’s suffering Servant and is baptised. His sins are washed away, and he joins the largest family in the world – the people of God.
Have you? If not, you are invited to bow your head right where you are and say the following prayer: ‘Heavenly Father, I open my life at this moment to receive Your Son Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Forgive all my sins and make me Your child. I come now in His name to ask for Your forgiveness and freedom. Amen.'”
I repeated a lot of what Selwyn wrote because I wanted to maintain the context and I believe what he has said is very important, especially the prayer.
Another aspect of today’s study is the importance of God’s Word as found in Scripture, we should seek to read and understand the Bible so that we too, can be like Philip and explain (with the Spirit’s help) God’s truths to those who are seeking. We should be prepared to meet people like the Ethiopian eunuch, as we go about our daily activities; and, be ready to tell them the good news about Jesus.
What a joy it would be to lead someone into today’s prayer, knowing that the whole of heaven would also share in your joy. Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”