Thursday, September 28, 2017
Luke tells us about Philip’s ministry in Acts 8. Philip was very successful in Samaria, having multiple responses. Yet, an angel directed him to leave the many and make a hot, dusty walk into the desert for an audience of one! That would have been a good time for Philip to use John’s command, “try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1), to see if the devil was trying to end his successes in that area! Yet, he did NOT respond to the angel’s command with, “Where? To do what?”
Philip found a scripture reading somebody who needed help. A man who would have the potential to covert royalty! A man of influence who would use it to honor God. A man who was willing to ask his queen for time off to travel a great distance to worship his God, even if his scriptures restricted him from enjoying what others could experience. God knew the eunuch’s potential, Philip did not. But, Philip obeyed rather than arguing.
Philip possessed a simple sermon with eternal benefits. God wanted a man to introduce this man to His man Jesus! So, he selected the successful Philip (Acts 8:35). The eunuch knew Isaiah, but not Jesus. Philip made the introductions! The queen’s treasurer met God’s Son. That introduction opened a door and an experience which he had never enjoyed before.
Luke does not detail Philip’s introduction. We don’t have Philip’s notes or outline. Philip didn’t leave a copy of the King James Version, “Muscle And Shovel,” The Catechism, the Discipline, The Watchtower, the Memoirs, or a Manual to indoctrinate the treasurer. He preached Jesus. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and raised, so the eunuch saw water and asked if he could be immersed into and be brought forth from it. Philip did not object and tell him it wasn’t necessary, or that he could wait until he returned to Ethiopia. Philip immersed him, then left.
Philip left his student and traveled thirty-two miles to Azotos on his way to Caesarea. He had found a reading man who knew Isaiah, and left a rejoicing one saved by Jesus! But, Philip left a spiritual babe (1 Peter 2:2). We preach sermons against that! The eunuch needed growth, but the food available did not mention Jesus by name. How can a man develop what some claim must be “perfect obedience,” if the knowledge needed is not available to tell him how? How can one be saved without obedience to that knowledge? Since he was a eunuch, worshiping under the Law of Moses, that is what he returned to when he arrived at home. That is what the Jerusalem church, the inspired apostles, elders, prophets, and others in that congregation did (Acts 21:20-25). They continued to frequent the synagogue and Temple. They were zealous for that Law and its practices.
When the treasurer returned to the service of his queen, was it possible for him to introduce her to the one Philip introduced him to? Was it possible to tell her about the one Philip introduced him to? If she wanted to experience the same rejoicing he had experienced, wouldn’t she need to do what the eunuch had done to enjoy that experience? That may not sound “perfect,” to some, but it would be a life in obedience to the gospel!