Last night I taught the exciting events in the life of Philip the Evangelist. We know Philip as the evangelist because he is described in that way in Acts 21:8-9. He lived in Caesarea (on the Mediterranean coast) and had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
He, no doubt, became known as “The Evangelist” because of what is known about Philip in Acts 8.
Philip was one of seven man selected by the church to care for the widows. Stephen and Philip did not limit their ministry to waiting on tables.
Stephen became the first Christian martyr as he proclaimed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Philip, who is often associated with Stephen, left Jerusalem in the midst of the persecution which arose when Stephen was executed by the Jews. Philip went down to Samaria and preached to the Samaritans about the Messiah.
Like the Jews, the Samaritans were looking for a Messiah. Philip proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ who died and was raised from the dead.
When the apostles heard that the Samaritans had received the word and that the Holy Spirit had come upon them, they went down to Samaria as well. When they saw what had happened and the joy of the Samaritans, they went back to Jerusalem preaching the gospel in the Samaritan towns along the way.
At that point, an angel of the Lord instructed Philip to go toward Gaza and meet up with an Ethiopian on his way back to his native land after having worshiped God in Jerusalem.
The Ethiopian was reading from the scroll of Isaiah, specifically what we know as Isaiah 53:7–8. Had he heard the message of Christ in Jerusalem? Did he see new believers being baptized? Did he hear Christians showing how Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 53?
When Philip came upon the chariot and heard the Ethiopian reading from the scroll of Isaiah, he asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30).
The Ethiopian asked Philip, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:31).
Philip guided him and the Ethiopian, according to the church father Irenaeus (died 202 AD), took the message of Christ back to his native land.
The question of the Ethiopian must be the question of people everywhere. “How can I understand unless someone guides me?”
Will you be a guide? Do you understand how many preschoolers and children in church need a guide? Do you understand how many children in school need a guide? Or, maybe someone at work or in your neighborhood, or in your family needs someone to guide them.
Will you be a guide? Will you pray that God would give you an open door to guide someone else to understand what Christ can do for them?
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