group

Philip
and the
Ethiopian
Official


Acts 8:26-40


Good News Translation (GNT)


26  An angel of the Lord said to Philip,
  "Get ready and go south(a)
   to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza."
   (This road is not used nowadays.)(b)
27-28  So Philip got ready and went.
   Now an Ethiopian eunuch,
   who was an important official
   in charge of the treasury of the
   queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home.
   He had been to Jerusalem to worship God
   and was going back home in his carriage.
   As he rode along, he was reading
   from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
29  The Holy Spirit said to Philip,
  "Go over to that carriage and stay close to it."
30  Philip ran over and heard him
   reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
   He asked him,
  "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31  The official replied,
  "How can I understand unless someone
   explains it to me?"
   And he invited Philip to climb up and
   sit in the carriage with him.
32  The passage of scripture
   which he was reading was this:
  "He was like a sheep that is taken
   to be slaughtered, like a lamb that makes
   no sound when its wool is cut off.
   He did not say a word.
33  He was humiliated,
   and justice was denied him.
   No one will be able to tell about
   his descendants,
   because his life on earth
   has come to an end."
34  The official asked Philip,
  "Tell me, of whom is the prophet
   saying this?
   Of himself or of someone else?"
35  Then Philip began to speak;
   starting from this passage of scripture,
   he told him the Good News about Jesus.
36  As they travelled down the road,
   they came to a place where there was some water,
   and the official said,
  "Here is some water.
   What is to keep me from being baptised?"
37  (c)
38  The official ordered the carriage
   to stop, and both Philip and the official
   went down into the water,
   and Philip baptised him.
39  When they came up out of the water,
   the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away.
   The official did not see him again,
   but continued on his way, full of joy.
40   Philip found himself in Azotus;
   he went on to Caesarea,
   and on the way he preached the
   Good News in every town.

   Footnotes
   (a) Acts 8:26 south;
      or at midday.

   (b) Acts 8:26
      This road is not used nowadays;
      or This is the desert road.

   (c) Acts 8:37
      Some manuscripts add verse 37:
      Philip said to him,
      "You may be baptised
      if you believe with all your heart."
      "I do," he answered;
      "I believe that Jesus Christ
      is the Son of God."


 Taken from
'The Applied New Testament Commentary'
  (Kingsway)


Philip and the Ethiopian


Acts Chapter 8 v26-40


An angel of the Lord told Philip
to go to the road running south
from Jerusalem to Gaza,
a city southwest of Jerusalem.
Philip immediately did what God commanded.

On the road to Gaza Philip met a eunuch,
who was not a true Jew,
he was probably a follower of the Jewish religion.
As he was riding along,
he was reading from the Old Testament
book of the prophet Isaiah.

Where could he find a better teacher than
Philip to explain the meaning of Isaiah's prophecy!

The eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53:7-8.47
In these verses, Isaiah is prophesying that
Jesus will be led like a sheep to the slaughter.
Isaiah writes that the coming One (Jesus)
would come as a "suffering servant,"
who would sacrifice His life as an
atonement for the sins of mankind.

The Jews could not believe that the king
or Saviour they were waiting for was actually
the same person as this "suffering servant"
described by Isaiah.

At the time of Philip's meeting with the eunuch,
the New Testament had not yet been written.
It was indeed amazing that this very passage
the eunuch was reading,
gives the clearest description of Jesus
found anywhere in the Old Testament.

Therefore, when the eunuch asked Philip
who the prophet was talking about,
Philip was immediately able to answer:
"Jesus Christ."

Then Philip began with that very passage
of Scripture and told him
the good news about Jesus.
When he had finished telling the eunuch
about Jesus, Philip baptised him..

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say
that a person must wait a long time
and receive extensive teaching before
he can be baptised.

Only God knows whether a person
has truly believed from his heart or not.
We men cannot know for sure
It's possible that a few will be baptised
who do not have true faith;
but it is God's business
to judge them, not ours.

Notice that although Philip
was not an apostle,
he had the authority to baptise,

The Spirit of the Lord suddenly
took Philip away, and Philip
disappeared from the eunuch's sight.

God's Spirit brought Philip to Azotus,
a city north of Gaza on the
Mediterranean coast.
After that, Philip travelled farther
northward to the city of Caesarea,
preaching the Gospel as he went.

It seems as if he decided to settle in Caesarea,
because the next time Philip is mentioned
in the book of Acts, he is living in Caesarea
with four grown daughters,
who were prophetesses (Acts 21:8-9).



Other versions are available here

Return to the Home Page