Faithlife Sermons

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Luke describes him as a eunuch (a castrated man; it was common in the ancient Near East for men who had been castrated to serve in positions of state) who held office in the Ethiopian court under the queen, Candace.
He was her chief finance minister.
we are probably justified in taking “eunuch” to be a governmental title in an Oriental kingdom and in emphasizing two facts when considering the Ethiopian’s relation to Judaism: (1) he had been on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem and (2) he was returning with a copy of the prophecy of Isaiah in his possession, which would have been difficult for a non-Jew to get.
The ancient kingdom of Ethiopia lay between Aswan and Khartoum and corresponds to modern Nubia (not Abyssinia).
It was ruled by a queen mother who had the dynastic title Candace and ruled on behalf of her son the king, since the king was regarded as the child of the sun and therefore too holy to become involved in the secular functions of the state
One of the ministers of the Ethiopian government—in fact, the minister of finance—having become either a full proselyte or a Proselyte of the Gate, had gone to Jerusalem to worship at one of the Jewish festivals and was now returning home reading Isaiah.
He was thus an outsider, forever to remain so within the Jewish system.
But there was something about the Jewish God and the Jewish way of life which had attracted him, as it did with many in the ancient world
he had made the long journey to Jerusalem to worship, perhaps at one of the festivals; and he had procured, or perhaps he already possessed, a copy of some or all of the Jewish scriptures.
the Ethiopian was benefiting from a simple truth.
When you find yourself attracted towards the faith, the scriptures provide, marvellously, something you can have and hold and take away and which, however far you are geographically from a place of worship, can become the source of living water from which you can drink at your own pace and in your own way.
We today should ponder, too, the fact that the first non-Jew to come to faith and baptism in Luke’s great story is a black man from Africa.
he plants this story at the heart of the moment when the gospel is starting to go out into the wider world, to make it abundantly clear that wherever you go, whatever culture you come to, whatever situation of human need, sin, exclusion or oppression you may find, the message of Jesus as the one in whom all the promises of God find their ‘Yes!’ (2 Corinthians 1:20) is there to meet that need.
highlighting for his readers the fact that Philip’s ministry to the Ethiopian eunuch was especially arranged by God and providentially worked out in all its details.
there is no evidence that anyone in pre-Christian Judaism ever thought of the Messiah in terms of a Suffering Servant.
The Talmud, indeed, speaks of suffering sent by God as having atoning efficacy (cf.
Davies, Paul, pp.
262–65); and there are many indications that “humility and self-humiliation, or acceptance of humiliation from God’s hand, were expected of a pious man and thought to be highly praiseworthy” (E.
Schweizer, Lordship and Discipleship [London: SCM, 1960], p. 23; cf. also pp.
But there is no explicit evidence that this general attitude toward suffering was ever consciously carried over to ideas regarding the Messiah, God’s Servant par excellence.
At a time when only what Christians call the OT was Scripture, what better book was there to use in proclaiming the nature of divine redemption than Isaiah, and what better passage could be found than Isaiah 52:13–53:12?
Thus Philip began with the very passage the Ethiopian was reading and proclaimed to him “the good news about Jesus,” explaining from Isaiah 53:7–8 and its context a suffering messianology.
Of the evangelists, Matthew and John apply Isaiah 53 to Jesus’ ministry of healing (cf.
Matt 8:17 on 53:4; John 12:38 on 53:1; see also Matt 12:18–21 on 42:1–4).
Luke, however, alone among the evangelists, portrays Jesus as quoting Isaiah 53 as being fulfilled in his passion (cf.
Luke 22:37 on 53:12).
3 things are happening: Acts 8.30
Reading- anaginosko…means 2 things.
Recognizing and knowing exactly.
REading out loud.
Barbara Bush reading literacy.. George bush socks
Reading out loud does not mean we have comprehension.
fine print at the end of the radio ad.
Understanding- ginosko
to perceive and understanding… to know things as they are, not an opinion or to sense how things are.
Jesus himself spoke that his disciples could UNDERStand luke 24
He Opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
Acts 8.31
“guides- to instruct.
It means to lead or guide into understanding.
2 tim 3.16-17xxxx
The Bible is a library
It is where we meet Jesus.
Where we find bad people, good people , strange people… and Jesus.
Wesley said “I am a man of one book”
He called himself a “Bible bigot”:
For Wesley, the Bible taught us about salvation.
I want to know one thing- the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore.
God himself has condescended to teach me the way.
For this very end He came from heaven.
He hath written it down in a book.
O give me that book!
At any price, give me that book of God!
I have it: here is knowledge enough for me.
Let me be homo unius libri (a man of one book).
Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men.
I sit down alone: only God is here.
In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end, to find the way to heaven.”
“scarce ever was any erroneous opinion either invented or recieved, but scripture was quoted to defend it.”-
John Wesley
United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine.-
“Our Theological Task”, UMC Book of Discipline
“Did God really say?”- the Serpent, Genesis 3
The eunuch responded to Philip by asking for baptism.
As a Jewish proselyte or near-proselyte, the eunuch probably knew that water baptism was the expected external symbol for a Gentile’s repentance and conversion to the religion of Israel.
Therefore, it would have been quite natural for him to view baptism as the appropriate expression for his commitment to Jesus, whom he had come to accept as the fulfillment of Israel’s hope and promised Messiah.
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