The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Acts 8:29
I have always liked the account of Philip and the Ethiopian recorded in this passage. What strikes me at this point in my walk is the work of the Holy Spirit. This was no chance meeting. An angel directed Philip to take this route and Philip willingly obeyed. Upon seeing the Ethiopian’s chariot, the Spirit directed Philip to stay near it. When Philip overheard the Ethiopian reading from the book of Isaiah, Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian invited Philip to join him and explain the passage, leading to the Ethiopian’s conversion and baptism.
Who says the Old Testament is no longer relevant? This passage from Isaiah beautifully describes the humility of the Christ and served as the beginning of Philip’s witness to the Ethiopan:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the 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.” (Isaiah 53:7,8).
Jesus knew His Father’s will. His silence before Pilate and those who condemned Him was not out of cowardice as some might claim; no, it was out of acceptance of what must take place in order for God’s people to be forgiven and sanctified.
A chance meeting along a lonely roadway? No way. This was God actively working to change life of a man He had chosen. After being baptized by Philip, the Ethiopian went on his way, rejoicing! (8:39) Clearly, the work of the apostles in the early church was of God. And as the high priest told his brethren in Chapter 5, man will not stop the work of God. Praise God for His everlasting grace and mercy!
Ponder this: Has God placed somebody in my path as a witness opportunity? Am I prepared to share the Gospel?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, open my eyes to the opportunities to witness that you place before me. Give me the words that will achieve your will and change the life of a lost soul – forever. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.