Acts 8

Roy Osborne
February 2012


When Phillip got to the road which led from Jerusalem to Gaza, where he had been sent by God, there was a chariot parked by the roadside, and God told Phillip to go stand by it.  The man in the chariot was reading aloud from the prophet Isaiah.   Phillip asked him if he understood what he was reading.   The man replied that he could not unless someone explained it to him.  He then invited to Phillip to join him in his chariot.

There are several interesting things about this scene.  First, the man in the chariot was an important official of the court of Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia.  He was what we would call the Secretary of the Treasury.  Therefore, he was a very important and influential man in the country of Ethiopia.  Also he was an interested and honest seeker for truth about God.

In those days many intelligent people had become tired of the religion that pointed to gods made of idols and based on myths which did not make sense.  Many of them were turning to the Jewish religion and becoming proselytes because the Jewish god made sense to them.   Evidently this man was one of them.

In the early days of Christianity, it is evident that God selected such people to help spread the message.  It bears out the message of Jesus when He said, “Seek and ye shall find”.   This man was an honest seeker, and God selected him to be taught the truth.

Secondly, this man was in a position to influence a lot of people, and in these early days that was important.  Tradition has it that this man was able to evangelize much of Ethiopia on his return.   Throughout the Bible we find God using people for what they have prepared themselves for.   Judas was a thief, and he was used to do the work of a thief.   Peter was an outspoken courageous disciple, and he was chosen to open the doors of the Kingdom by preaching the first sermon of the new age.  We are soon to be introduced to Saul of Tarsus who was an honest and zealous but misinformed servant of God.   Obviously God was aware of his power to influence the Gentile world, so He chose to give him the truth.

The lesson for all of us is this: God no longer performs special miracles to get our attention, and He will not call you in any direct way.  However, be assured that He will use you to the extent that you prepare yourself to be used.  He dwells, by His Spirit, in everyone who truly accepts Jesus Christ, and, with faith, that one will understand the truth more clearly and be encouraged to follow it more assiduously than one who is less assured or less interested in what God has to say.  In my 72 years of preaching, I have seen this acted out many many times in the lives of the members of the church that I have observed.  Do you want to know the Bible better?  Then honestly study it, for Jesus was not giving empty words when He said, “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”.

The real interest of the Eunuch is indicated by the joy with which he
went on his way after hearing the truth.   Undoubtedly one truly converted to the wonderful gift of God in the Gospel story can hardly help passing it on to any who will listen.  The evangelist to Ethiopia
is now on his way.

In our next essay we will examine the other things that happened
as Phillip taught this man the truth.