Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" The man replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?" And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. Acts 8:30-32
Some people in our lives who are lost may be in need for someone to take the time to explain it to them clearly. They may be lost simply because of confusion or a misunderstanding of Christianity. Because of this, we must be patient and look for opportunities to explain the good news of Christ with them clearly. Acts 8 tells the story of a man who was simply waiting for someone to explain the Bible to him.
In Acts 8, the treasurer for the queen of Ethiopia was sitting in his chariot and reading from the book of Isaiah. When Philip saw this man reading from the book of Isaiah, he did two things. The first thing he did was run over to this man. He did not just walk over to this man. He literally ran. The second thing he did was ask a simple question: "Do you understand what you are reading?" (verse 30). The response on this Ethiopian man should simultaneously give us hope and break our hearts: "how can I, unless someone instructs me?" (verse 31). The heartbreaking thing about his response is that he was simply waiting for someone to teach him about Scripture, and no one had taken the time to do so yet. The hopeful part of his response is that he was waiting, ready for someone to teach him. What is seen next in this interaction between Philip and this Ethiopian man brings tears to my eyes. Philip sat down next to the man and "told him the good news about Jesus" (verse 35). Then, the Ethiopian asked to be baptized, right as they were riding and talking. How beautiful is that?
If there is anything that we can learn from this story in Acts 8, it's that people are waiting to be taught about God and the Bible. As followers of Christ, we have the good news of Jesus that people are longing to hear. Perhaps someone is just waiting for you to ask, "Do you understand what you are reading?" My friends, people are waiting for someone to take the time to share their faith with them. Will you boldly and confidently be the one who will share it?
Because people are waiting for us to share the Good News of Jesus with them, we ought to be prepared and ready when we encounter them. Take time today to practice the Bridge Diagram that you reviewed yesterday. Throughout the day, practice teaching it at least three times. As you practice, you will be even more ready to share your faith when someone asks.
Read Acts 8:26-40 (NLT)
As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.
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