Summary: Evangelism and Philip is the same.
Philip - A Study of Witnessing
1. Philip was led by an angel of the Lord (v.26)
An angel of the Lord appeared at various times in Scripture giving directions to people. In this instance, Philip was told to go south. In the sovereign strategy of God, Philip was sent to the side of the road, where he met the treasurer of Ethiopia traveling home from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Philip was having a successful preaching ministry to great crowds in Samaria (Acts 8:5-8), but he obediently left that ministry to travel on a desert road. He was the first Billy Graham. He could have easily questioned the angel of the Lord I am being used here, what are you doing, don’t you see what’s happening.
Jonah had a different attitude than Philip when the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach the gospel of Christ. We see Jonah try to runaway, but Philip went right away. For him wherever and whenever. The lesson that I see here is that is that we make sure that when God tells you to go somewhere (job, school, others) make sure that it’s his voice that you here. Philip went where God sent him, Follow God’s leading, even if it seems like a demotion. At first you may not understand his plans, but the results will prove that God’s way is right.
2. What Philip found (v.27-28)
A. A Man of Ethiopia, a foreigner (v.27a)
He saw a man riding in a chariot returning from Jerusalem. Why was he returning so quickly and why was he in Jerusalem in the first place. He wanted to see what worship is all about and all he saw was the hypocritical worship of the Pharisees and the Saducees. He saw them worship with their lips, but their heart was far away from Christ.
He found a foreigner, a man from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is located in Africa, south of Egypt. It was hundreds of miles from Jerusalem. The eunuch had been to Jerusalem to attend a religious feast.
B. A High Ranking Government Officer (v.27b)
A high ranking government official who served under the Queen of Ethiopia. Candace is not the name of a particular queen, but the title of a dynasty of queens . He was the Secretary of Treasurer or the Ministry of Finance.
C. A Eunuch, a Man of Commitment (v.27c)
Being a eunuch shows that he was a man of extreme commitment and dedication.
D.A Worshipper, a Seeker (v.27d)
This definitely shows he was seeking after the truth and after God. Note: he was a
convert to Judaism and had travelled hundreds of miles to Jerusalem to worship in the temple.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Despite the power and wealth that he possessed he had a vast emptiness in his soul.
E. A Reader of Scripture (v.28)
He had a copy of the book of the prophet Isaiah points to that probability. To own a scroll of the Scriptures (handwritten and thus rare) likewise indicated wealth. Two things we know about this eunuch is that He had a desire to know God and was aware that he was to be known only through the Scriptures. In addition price did not matter to him, he would pay for the scroll no matter how much it cost. Remember he was a Gentile, only the Jews were allowed to own scrolls.
3. What Philip sensed (v.29)
The Holy Spirit directed Philip to go over and walk along beside the carriage. Again, Philip immediately obeyed. He heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. After observing for a moment, Philip asked: “Do you understand what you are reading?”
In so doing, Philip shows us two of the most important characteristics of an effective evangelist:
The first is Patience. He waited to find out where the man was in his understanding before diving in with the gospel.
A second characteristic is the Power of Observation. Philip looked for an opportunity to engage the man at a meaningful level.
John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.
4. What Philip did – He Properly Presented the Gospel (v.31-34)
The court official expressed the frustration that every Bible student throughout the ages has felt from time to time: “How can I understand this passage unless someone explains it to me?”