Read - Acts 8v26-40
Message - Scott Woodburn
The Gospel had gone north to Samaria and now it was time for it to go south (v26). Philip is commanded to head for Gaza by an angel of the Lord and ends up in a desert place. The Lord is no fool and Philip's arrival in the desert will end up with the waters of life flowing freely.
In that place Philip comes across an Ethiopean eunuch who was in charge of Queen Candace's treasure (v27). A eunuch was a castrated man who would have been seen as more trustworthy because he couldn't have a family of his own. No in-laws meant he couldn't be influenced by them. No children meant he wouldn't be plotting and planning for his own family dynasty. Therefore a eunuch would often be put in charge of the King's wives or, as in this case, the Queen's money.
This eunuch was someone who feared God. He was perhaps a Jew or someone who had come to hear about the God of the Jews, either way, he had gone to Jerusalem to worship (v27b) and was now sitting in his chariot reading from the book of Isaiah (v28). Again the Gospel continues to move beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem. This man almost certainly had black skin and more than that he wouldn't be considered a true Jew. A eunuch was not allowed access to the temple and so the man Philip meets is yet another ethnic and religious outsider.
He invites Philip to sit and discuss the Scriptures with him (v31) and soon the two men study Isaiah 53. The eunuch isn't sure who the passage is speaking about (v34) but Philip is certain that it is all about Jesus (v35). Christ is the lamb who was led to the slaughter (v32a). Christ is the one who is silent before His accusers (v32b). In Christ's humiliation He didn't receive justice in the midst of a wicked generation (v33a). His life was taken from the earth (v33b).
The eunuch comes to trust in Christ, is baptised (v38) and goes on his way rejoicing (v39). As his chariot heads for home the Gospel he carries enters into the great continent of Africa. Philip on the other hand finds himself in Azotus (v40) and takes the Gospel up the coast to the city of Caesarea where European ears would hear of Jesus.
In Galatians Paul would write "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Galatians 3v28-29) These verses are often ripped from their context and offered in support of women elders or the current sexual revolution. They're not about either of those things, they are about our common salvation.
A Jew, a Greek, a slave, a free man, a man, a woman, an Ethiopian, a Samaritan, a Protestant, a Catholic, a Muslim, a European, an African, an Asian...all of them must be saved, can be saved and are saved in exactly the same way - by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The Gospel makes us part of the one church and if we belong to Christ then we are spiritual descendants of Abraham. The promise of God to Abraham is true "In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22v18)
Q106 What do we pray for in the sixth petition? In the sixth petition, which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray, that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.