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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Theological Matters and is used by permission.
The account in Acts 8:26-40 of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch through the witness of Philip fascinates me every time I read it. There are so many surprise factors in the story.
Angel - Philip - Desert - Road - Jerusalem
I’m surprised by an angel commanding Philip to go to the desert road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza.
I’m surprised by Philip running up to the eunuch’s chariot and overhearing the Ethiopian reading from Isaiah 53, a passage so clearly about the suffering of the Messiah.
Eunuch - Question - Prophet - Someone - Question
I’m surprised by the eunuch’s question, “Is the prophet talking about himself, or someone else?” That simple question gave Philip an opportunity to tell the Ethiopian about Jesus.
I’m surprised that, on a desert road, at just the right time, there was enough water for the eunuch to be baptized on the spot.
Passage - Providences - God - People - God
The passage overflows with surprising providences of God. Perhaps I’m only surprised because, like many people, I underestimate God’s supernatural ability to order the daily details of our lives.
However, the biggest surprise by far is what happens at the end of the story:
Philip - Newfound - Salvation - Philip - Reminder
Instantly, Philip found himself whisked away, and the eunuch traveled on, celebrating his newfound salvation, never to see Philip again. It’s a reminder: God can bring us momentarily into the life of someone just for the sake of bringing that person to Christ.
Not long ago, my wife Michele and I were standing near a bus stop in Nicaragua, witnessing to people as they passed by. As we spoke to them through our translator, Anna, the people were amazingly receptive. Nearly all of them took time to listen, and, within an hour or so, around a dozen people had prayed with us to be saved.
Moment - Foot - Traffic
We were thrilled. Then, in a moment when the foot traffic had slowed down,...
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