Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CARE ORIENTED EDUCATIONScripture: Acts 8 :26-38
V.31: and he said, How could I “unless someone guides me”? And he entreated Philip to come up and sit with him.
This narrative talks about the encounter between the Greek speaking Jewish Christian evangelist Philip and an Ethiopian eunuch who was returning from worship at Jerusalem. Philip was one of the six chosen for the table ministry including Stephen. They looked after the equitable distribution of serving food for all the early church believers including widows. But God has chosen Philip further up into an important task of evangelizing an Ethiopian man who was rich, educated and affluent, in charge of the treasury of Queen Candace. He is not to be mistaken for Apostle Philip. In our particular text, divine intervention is quite evident. Both the angel of the Lord and the spirit of the Lord spoke to Philip asking him to join a person in a chariot travelling through the desert back to his town from Jerusalem.
Here we see the Lord is releasing the Ethiopian from the bondage, by facilitating a human encounter to learn about the risen Jesus. It is good to note that eunuch's are excluded from participating in temple rituals or admitted into Israel's community even as a convert. So this conversion and baptizing transcends expectation. Unnamed Ethiopian represents those who are marginilised and far way geographically and ethnically. Even being an educated affluent person, Ethiopian was able to accept and invite Philip , and showed eagerness to ascertain the meaning of the scriptures he read from Isaiah 53:7.
The spirit of the Lord embodied humility of the sacrificed lamb in Ethiopian,, when he heard the gospel of the resurrected Jesus, he believed it and expressed his desire to participate in a baptismal ceremony. In most translations of the new testament , verse 37 is absent. However v37 reads: when Philip asked Ethiopian whether he believes Jesus from all his heart, he answered” I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God”. Spirit of the Lord worked in him, Philip baptized him – immediately Philip was carried way by the spirit to Caeseria.
We should practice a faith that continually seek learning or understanding scriptures, rather than a knowledge that seek only
Lord, enable us to be part of the divine plan in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the marginiliSed and all who are far away, geographically and ethnically in this world . Amen
Thought for the Day
God who raised Jesus, plans unlikely encounters, regardless of our choice and existing norms that would not permit the transformation of marginalized individuals.
Dr.John K.Thomas Tabor MTC, Staten island