Acts 8

Roy Osborne
February 2012


The Ethiopian Eunuch exhibits two characteristics that are sadly lacking in many religious people.  First, he seriously wanted to know the truth.  His loyalty was not to a particular group or doctrine and, he did not assume that what he already knew could not be
questioned.   Secondly, he was willing to be taught.

The person who never examines his basic beliefs, and wants no one to give him more information, has simply refrigerated his ignorance, and further growth is impossible.  Our grasp of the truth is never absolute.  It is always a growth process.  Only those who continue to learn are spiritually alive.

Admitting that he did not understand the passage from Isaiah, which he was reading, he invited Phillip to join him in the chariot, and to help him understand.  Obviously, Phillip preached the same sermon that Peter preached on Pentecost.  At its conclusion, having heard the story of God’s invitation through Jesus Christ, the Eunuch requested Phillip to baptize him.

There are many who refuse baptism because it is not logical to them.   They see no point in the immersion of the body in water as a way of achieving God’s acceptance and forgiveness.  Those who wait for a logical reason will never be baptized.  The baptism of Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow.

John the Baptist, thinking that baptism somehow was linked to the forgiveness of sins, demurred when Jesus asked him to baptize Him.
Thinking he was the greater sinner, and had more need of forgiveness than Jesus, he said Jesus should baptize him.  But Jesus, not questioning the reason or purpose of baptism, asked John to baptize Him to “fulfill all righteousness”.

All righteousness would simply be the will of God, for God is the author and only possessor of all righteousness.   No other logical reason is necessary, and none of us know of any.  The ways of God are above our ways as the heavens are above the earth.  The Psalmist says, “His ways are past finding out”.  God is infinite, and my mind does not reach into that dimension.  There are many things God may want that I do not understand, but that does not mean they are unnecessary.  It just means God’s mind is far beyond mine, and, along with Jesus, I must simply do it because the Father wants it.  That is what “fulfilling all righteousness” means.

The Eunuch was smart enough, and humble enough, to understand this, and, when baptism was a part of the Gospel message, he received it with gladness, and went on his way rejoicing.