26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
What a strange series of events this must have been for Philip! First God tells him to just head out on a random desert road and then to follow a man in a chariot…on foot. This wasn’t a nice walk in the park. It was a sprint…in the sand! But as Philip ran alongside the chariot, he saw and seized the opportunity to make the gospel clear. The Ethiopian eunuch’s response to the good news about Jesus was immediate! He embraced Jesus and was baptized on the spot. When Philip’s work was done, God whisked him away to preach the gospel in other towns.
Talk about a whirlwind of activity! Sometimes God will ask us to do things that don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to us. But Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian was no coincidence. God had been softening his heart and God made sure that he and Philip crossed paths at just the right time! Philip didn’t ask questions or complain – he just went and was obedient to act as God led the way.
As a joyful Ethiopian returned home, we can see how Philip’s obedience paved the way for the good news of Jesus to be spread as far as Ethiopia. Philip may not have understood exactly what God was doing through him, but he was certain that God had a plan to use him…and so he went!
Where is God sending you today? Choose to be obedient and look for ways to be used by Him today.