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ACTS 8 - Judea and Samaria

· Acts

There are two keys to Luke’s outline throughout the book of Acts. The first is the steady, repeated overcoming of obstacles by the power of the Spirit. The second is the expansion of the church following Christ’s plan in Acts 1: “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In chapter 8, we see Philip and Saul’s persecution accomplish the gospel’s spread throughout Judea and Samaria.

Philip’s conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch represents another significant milestone - the first conversion of a Gentile. And not merely any Gentile, but a eunuch from a distant province in Africa.

This is one character I wish we had a backstory for. As a eunuch, the man would have been forbidden from entering the Temple or participating in any of the religious festivities there. As a Gentile we would have been rather unwelcome in Jerusalem at all. Nonetheless, he made a journey of hundreds of miles in a chariot, watched the people in Jerusalem partake in celebrations and ceremonies in which he was not welcome, and then returns, puzzling his way through Isaiah as he travels home. Like a poor boy peering through the window of an expensive candy shop, he can only imagine what joy is just beyond his reach.

And suddenly the boy is invited in. Imagine the eunuch’s surprise at learning that this God, whom he believed in but was not permitted to worship, loved him enough to die for him. Loved him enough to send a missionary specifically to him. The master said that those who seek will find, and here we see the proof.

Let us take a few moments this morning to pray that those who are seeking the truth will indeed find it. And as we do so, let us also pray that He might use us to spread His word.

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