Thursday 12 May 2011

Bible Book:

what you are reading?'" (v. 30)

Acts 8:26-40 Thursday 12 May 2011


This is a story of the Church's progress to the non-Jewishworld. Philip, a leader within the Jerusalem church meets animportant official from Ethiopia. The official was curious aboutthe Jewish faith and committed enough to both make the journey tothe temple and read some of the Scriptures. Luke (the author ofActs) makes it clear that the Spirit guided Philip to him andhelped develop the conversation. This passage implies a divineinitiative to the expanding activity of the Church.

Note how the official remains in control of the process: it is hewho asked Philip to sit with him; it is he who asked the question;it is he who initiated the opportunity for Baptism. This feels likethe official was empowered to develop the conversation at his ownpace. Philip was open to what God was doing and then he joined in.This 'mission' appears to be an activity of God and man workingtogether.

The passage raises complex issues to do with the Old Testament andthe Christian faith. Here Philip made an explicit connectionbetween the Suffering Servant passage of Isaiah53 and Jesus.

The encounter between these two men on the dusty road betweenJerusalem and Gaza ends with the cool water of Baptism. Baptismpredates Christianity and was an important rite within Judaism tosignify a change of heart and a desire for new beginnings. Withinthe early Church it quickly became the means by which new followersof Christ expressed their commitment.

To Ponder

Donald English once said, "The job of the churchis to find out what God is doing and join in." What is yourexperience?

Philip and the official seemed to have a naturalconversation. What makes a good conversation for you and where doescontrol and influence lie?

The Ethiopian official took his new found faithback to Africa long before it reached Europe. What do you knowabout the World Church?

Previous Page Wednesday 11 May 2011
Next Page Friday 13 May 2011