Responding To The Gospel Call
Philip had intercepted the Ethiopian eunuch, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza (Acts 8:26-27). This man, the Chief Finance Minister for his country, was a God-fearer and very much wanted to understand more. He was reading from Isaiah 53 when Philip joined him but did not understand. So Philip explained it was all about Jesus who died unjustly, but willingly, for the sins of the world (Acts 8:35). The Holy Spirit convicted the Ethiopian of his sin and need of forgiveness. He wanted to belong to Jesus.
A pool of water by the roadside precipitated his request to be baptised. His question, "What can stand in the way of my being baptised?" showed his understanding that Jesus would welcome him. As a eunuch he was barred from worshipping with God's people in the temple (Deuteronomy 23:1), but the sacrifice of Jesus was for everybody who repented and believes in Him. Philip knew there was no reason to reject the request; and he baptised the Finance Minister.
Philip's work was done. At the Lord's command he had met the man, explained the Scriptures and led him to Christ. After the baptism Philip was nowhere to be seen. The Lord had taken him on to his next assignments in Azotus and then further north along the coast to Caesarea. The Lord also took the Ethiopian official to his next assignment: we do not know what it was, but God uses people like him who rejoice in their salvation because they are confident, through the Holy Spirit, that God has accepted them.
God has the right to call people to believe in Jesus, and to serve Him wherever He chooses. Philip responded by moving to the places where the Lord would use him, even though he did not know what to expect at each new location. The Ethiopian came to Jerusalem to find God but met Him on a desert road as Philip explained the Scriptures about Jesus. As the man went back home, to what is now North East Africa, the joy of his salvation would have propelled him to talk about Jesus and lead others to Him. Are you running away from a gospel call or running to meet the appointments God has set for you? Respond rightly and the Lord will certainly use you to brings blessing to others.
© Dr Paul Adams