Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In Acts 8:26-40, we read of the interaction between Philip the evangelist and an Ethiopian eunuch, apparently a man of considerable power and influence. Among other things, the conversation shows us that we need to ask more questions.
The eunuch had gone up to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. He may well have been in Jerusalem since Passover. Although he would not have been a free man, he’s in a position of authority. He is able to engage in international travel for a religious holiday. Though he is Ethiopian, he apparently has converted to Judaism. The fact that he is a eunuch suggests that he would have converted in adulthood, as a Jewish person would not allow for such an operation or lifestyle. No doubt, a man in such a position would have a well informed opinion about the faith to which he converted.
What is he doing? He’s reading from Isaiah. But he has a question. This is a question Philip assumes he might have. And rather than count on his own wisdom and experience, rather than inventing an answer by himself, rather than simply shrugging his shoulders and giving up, the eunuch asks Philip who the passage is about. Is it about Isaiah? Is it about someone else?
The passage is about Jesus, led as a lamb to the slaughter. It’s about Jesus, who had recently given his life for the eunuch. This is the news Philip was directed to bring. He had a divine appointment which he recognized after the discussion began.
We daily have opportunities to ask good questions of Scripture. We regularly have opportunities to talk with people about Jesus, what he has said and done, and how he has given himself for us. As the Lord sets up these opportunities, may we be faithful to use them for the good of our neighbors and the glory of God’s kingdom. How will we understand? We ask questions. How will others understand? We answer questions. It’s as simple as that.
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