Summary: Philip’s journey continues as he meets the Etheopian and offers what he has...knowledge of scriptures.
I want what you have – Part 2
Today we are picking up with the second half of Chapter 8. Last week we learned about the dealing of Philip in Samaria and in particular with Simon the Soarcer. The main focus of last week was that when Simon say the success of Philip he was impressed and the scripture says he believed and was baptized and then he followed Philip around like a kid on a construction sight. He listened to every word he taught and he witnessed fantastic signs. It was not just Simon that was impressed. The whole town was caught up in what was happening. The Samaritans were a people rejected by the Jews as just being trash were being welcomed by a prophet of God. Something was changing for Samaria. Some help arrived, Peter and John were sent and all heave breaks loose as the Holy Spirit comes when the apostils lay their hands on people.
It must have been like something they had never seen. People changed, shouting praises, maybe speaking n tongues and falling out on the floor. Something, something was happening, and I imagine everyone was excited. That is when Simon speaks up and offers to pay to be able to have these gifts.
Peter, stops and stares at this “new believer” and tells him that he has no part in the ministry. Basically, you can’t buy the grace of God and if you think you can…well you don’t have a clue.
We tied the excitement of Simeon to any of us when we think we can shortcut God’s plan. If we think a how too book for ministry has the answers instead of relying on God.
It is natural to want what other people have……I am not saying it is right. I am saying is when we see someone that is successful to want to mirror the success. Serving God is no different. But we have to understand that we have to do it God’s way wither in ministry or in life, Christians are dependant on God. We can buy success or short cut growth.
This week our scripture is also about a person that wants something. He is successful. He has money and a great job. He has gone on a pilgrimage to learn more about God.
He wants something.
The scripture for today starts with, 26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
Last week we talked about when ever you leave Jerusalem you always Go down. Last week Philip went down and went north. He traveled 40 to 100 miles for the story we studied last week. This week the suddenly we have an angel of the lord that tells him to GO south young man. And so he is headed back 40 to 100 miles and then heading back out of Jerusalem toward Gaza to the south.
If he is following the mountain road he and actually going to Gaza it will we about 130 miles from Jerusalem. So he starts from the North 40 to 100 miles back to Jerusalem and then we have no real idea as to how far he is traveled. As far as we know Philip does not complain at all…perhaps the contact with the angel impacted him in a big way.
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
The description of the Ethiopian is that he is an important official, His responsibility put him in charge of the treasury of the Queen of the Ethiopians. This man was no poor working man. He is wealthy. He is important. He is trustworthy. which are all pretty impressive traits, however there is more that we know about him.
The most important is that He is searching for God.
He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and was on his way back home. There is one more thing about this man that needs to be understood so that we can get the full meaning of the story.
This man was a eunuch. That means that for what ever reason, perhaps force, or as a sign of loyalty his body was altered. Without going into graphic detail. He was unable to produce children.
In the Jewish culture, that made him an abomination because it was a physical change which they believed that God would not approve.
Simplified, God made you like you are and it is not up to you to change your self.