Message by Rev. Richard Jones
Acts 8:4-8 (ESV)
4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
8 So there was much joy in that city.
An Unusual Command
Acts 8:26 (ESV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.
An Unusual Visitor
Acts 8:27-28 (ESV)
27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship
28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
An Unusual Opportunity
Acts 8:29-31 (ESV)
29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
An Unusual Passage
Acts 8:32-35 (ESV)
32 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 before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
Isaiah 53:1-12 (ESV)
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
An Unusual Response
Acts 8:36 (ESV)
36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
Acts 8:38 (ESV)
38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
An Unusual Transport
Acts 8:39-40 (ESV)
39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,