Acts 8:26-40

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
   and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
     so he does not open his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
   Who can describe his generation?
     For his life is taken away from the earth.’

The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, 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 saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.


by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff

Look! Here is water. What is to prevent me from being baptized?

That, perhaps, was the most impulsive, but also most exciting event in the Ethiopian’s life.

Eunuchs were, in the ancient world, often in positions of power and trust. Why? Well . . . hmm. Let me think about that for a bit.

I wonder if it had to do with their inability to fool around and conceive a child?

I’m being sarcastic, of course. Yes. It was precisely for this reason that they were so trusted. So one thing we can learn from this story is that the Ethiopian no doubt was highly excitable and impulsive, but his baptism was also a “prestige” score for Philip in the early church.

God, however, calls the people whom God will call, regardless of power, wealth, gifts or value a society might place upon them.

And thank God! Because God also chooses you and me!

How do I learn to listen to those different than I to hear their voice?