“This Looks Like a Job For…” – Act 8:26-40

The rejoicing Eunuch is said by Irenaeus (one of the 2nd Century church fathers), to have gone home and became a missionary to the Ethiopians.[5] We have his word for that, and, it seems a probable result. This powerful man who went rejoicing home (filled with the Spirit of God, and saved by the blood of Jesus Christ) would have certainly shared his joy with all those he could.

When you see an opportunity to share the gospel do you jump on it? Do you respond to the call? If it is someone with whom you might not be comfortable talking, because they are somehow “other,” do you draw back? Or do you, through the power of the Spirit, push your insecurities aside and boldly and lovingly share the gospel? And, do you know the Scriptures well enough to share Christ starting from any part of them?

My friends, it is on us, as Christians, as God’s designated agents for the gospel, to be prepared for those divine appointments and to be ready to act when God calls. Prepare yourself for the call. Act upon it when it comes. Because Christ has given his disciples a mission in this world, we must respond to his call.

It is interesting in vv. 39-40 that Philip is somehow transported north to a town called Azotus. The language in v. 39, “The Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away” is very similar to a number of verses in Ezekiel, such as 3:14, which we read earlier, where Ezekiel says, The Spirit lifted me up and took me away.” The impression is that God supernaturally transported him. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it!? … “Up, Up, and Away!”

Well, in Azotus, Philip continued following the Lord’s calling of taking the saving message of Jesus Christ to numerous people day in and day out, as he worked his way up towards Caesarea. It’s like “The Never-ending Battle” that we see in Superman comics. Week after week Superman hears the call for help, and then he goes to save whoever it is that needs it, no matter who they are. After one is saved, another needs help, and then another, and so on with no end in sight (at least until the printing press stops).

As disciples of Christ we are part of a Never-ending battle (at least until Christ comes again). We don’t get to retire from this mission to share the gospel of Jesus’ saving work, until we go home to be with Christ. Until then, we must listen for the call, and respond, rejoicing in doing the Lord’s will all the days of our life. Because Christ has given his disciples a mission in this world, we must follow his call.

 


[1] Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 341.

[2] J. David Hester, “Eunuchs and the Postgender Jesus: Matthew 19.12 and Transgressive Sexualities,” JSNT 28:1 (2005), 14-15.

[3] Clark M. Williamson, “The Ethiopian Eunuch: Dealing with a Gender-Bender: Acts 8:26-40,” Encounter 73.3 (2013), 47-56.

[4] Marshall, Acts, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 161.

[5] Irenaeus of Lyons, “Irenæus against Heresies,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 433 (3.12.8).