My Thoughts. . .
The year is 33 AD. Lucius had been converted to Judaism by one of his slaves. This was his eighth year to travel to Jerusalem with that slave during the Passover to Pentecost period. They had heard about the young Jewish Rabbi that had been crucified in 30 AD. There were conflicting stories. Some were positive while others were negative. Lucius and his slave had discussed these stories about this Joshua who supposedly was the Anointed One. As they were returning home the slave was reading from the prophet Isaiah. Both men were not agreeing on what that specific passage was saying.
As they were disagreeing good naturedly, a man they were passing heard their argument. He called out and offered his thoughts. Lucius told the slave to stop the chariot. The man on foot was invited to join them. He began showing them that this Joshua was the Messiah or Anointed One which the Hebrew scriptures spoke of. The deeper he went into the scriptures, the more convinced they were that this Hebrew Joshua was the prophesied Messiah or Anointed One. This invited guest spoke about this Joshua being immersed to fulfill all righteousness. He pointed out how a believer, when he submitted to immersion in the name of this Joshua, was buried with him into his death and raised from that death to enter into the new life offered by Joshua. The slave saw a body of water and asked the traveler if he and his master could be buried with Joshua and raised into that new life. They stopped, wadded into the water, and the man immersed both of them in the name of Joshua.
When they finished, the traveler said he needed to take the road leading to Azotus. They bid him God speed and watched him disappear over the next hill. Their former argument was forgotten as they joyfully continued toward home. They were excited about sharing their biblical information about Joshua the Messiah. They wondered if anyone back home knew about this Joshua?
Back home the slave began questioning other slaves if they knew Joshua. Some had heard a few rumors. The slave began teaching them what the traveler had pointed out to him and his master. The master, with his slave, made their weekly trip to the synagogue and asked the attendees the same question. They both received the same response. The master was asked to teach the assembly. He opened the scriptures to them, showing Joshua was the Anointed One of God. Soon, many of those they shared with desired to be immersed in Joshua’ name.
Soon, questions were being asked by the group. How do you ask a question when you don’t know what to ask? Should we go to the synagogue on the first day of the week rather than on the Sabbath? Since the traveler had not mention either a meeting nor connected it with the first day of the week, why would such a question be asked? Since they were believers in Joshua as the Messiah or Anointed One, what would that mean as far as them being his followers? Must they refer to themselves as follower of Joshua? If one was a member of a Greek synagogue, should they refer to themselves in Greek as the followers of Jesus? Should their synagogue worship change? If so, how? Why? Was a change necessary or even essential? Since the traveler did not give that information, why should they know or suspect any changes were needed? They were Jews, so now they would be Jews who knew Joshua or Jesus was the Messiah or the Anointed One, or in Greek the Christos.
Since they didn’t know what questions needed to be asked, nor what being a follower of Joshua or Jesus included, perhaps next year’s visit to Jerusalem would include contact with that teacher. Maybe they could ask him if he would come to their country and city and teach them what Joshua expected his followers to do?
Have you ever wondered if the eunuch in Acts 8 ran into any of those problems when he returned home? If so, what was he supposed to do each week when no one was available to supply such information? We often assume that he found an assembly of Christians who did everything we do, and they taught him what was or was not essential. However, how would we go about proving our assumptions are valid? If the Jerusalem church continued to make sacrifices at the Temple and pay the Levitical priests for those services to prove they followed the Old Testament Law, is that what the eunuch continued to do (Acts 21:18-26).