‘Shabbat Shalom’ from our branch to yours . . .
Monthly Archives: February 2017
In previous verses of Acts 8, we see Peter and John going to Samaria to pray for many for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and to preach ‘the gospel’. Some today ask ‘what is the Gospel’? In the passage below, this Ethiopian official obviously recognized YHWH as the One and Only God worthy of worship. Philip was sent to the Ethiopian eunuch to reveal to him The One Who IS the Gospel, The One spoken of by the prophet Isaiah. Through the reading of Isaiah 53, the work of the Ruach, and a heavenly messenger (angel) and an earthly messenger (Philip), this man realizes recognition of just God the Father is not enough, but rather the necessity of accepting God’s Messiah, Yeshua, the embodiment of The Gospel. It would seem that in the length of time Philip spoke with the Ethiopian, not only was the Gospel preached and accepted, but the importance of obedience, not the least of which was the water baptism, just as Yeshua displayed.
So was it enough for the eunuch just to go to the Temple to worship and thereby recognize who the one true God- YHWH- is? If so, then there would have been no need for the angel of the Lord to send Philip to share the gospel of Yeshua with him. If it wasn’t “enough” then, how can it be “enough” now to recognize or acknowledge the Father without the Son?
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road–that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.” (Act 8:26-40)