Philip and the Ethiopian Official

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Acts 8:1-40, 2 Kings 2:11, Isaiah 56:3-5, Romans 10:11-14

Today’s reading draws us further into the world of the early Church, giving us more insight into the climate in which the gospel was preached. It also acquaints us more with those who contributed to the distribution of the gospel.

The same day Stephen is martyred, widespread persecution occurs, with Saul actively pursuing and persecuting believers, throwing them in jail (Acts 8:1–3). The persecution intensified, but the resolve of Jesus’s followers to share His message only grew. 

Philip’s encounter with the eunuch was more than being in the right place at the right time. It was a divine orchestration from God, who was ready to meet the eunuch’s desire to know more about Him. Philip meets a perplexed man, who does not understand who the subject of the passage from Isaiah was talking about. But Philip did.

Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning with that Scripture. —Acts 8:35

Here we see God’s saving power in action. As Philip directed the eunuch to Jesus through the Word, the eunuch accepted everything that he heard. It’s a monumental moment in the eunuch’s life, the eagerness evident in his immediate request to be baptized. As regal and important as his position was in Queen Candace’s court, he now had a more prestigious status as a member of God’s family. 

This roadside conversion points back to God’s promise in Isaiah 56:3–5, where God specifically promised that His salvation would extend to foreigners and eunuchs, who generally did not have families of their own. Better than a biological family, the eunuch now had a place among God’s people and family. What joy he experienced, as he returned to Ethiopia, forever changed.   

The same joy-inducing, life-giving gospel at work in the eunuch’s conversion is the same gospel that has transformed our lives. The eunuch’s story highlights the beauty of God’s grace. Because of sin, we were far from God, but because of Jesus’s sacrifice, we now belong to Him. The gospel welcomes all, without discrimination; the only requirement is that we accept His gift of salvation (Romans 10:13). In God’s household, strangers are bonded together as family, and we all experience God’s blessings. 

The eunuch’s conversion during the church’s persecution emphasizes that nothing will stop God’s plan for us to be His people. Our lives are forever marked with a deep joy that outlasts any situation we face, knowing that we are accepted by Him.

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59 thoughts on "Philip and the Ethiopian Official"

  1. Ann Harris says:

    Emma – I hope you have been able to build a study group. During COVID restrictions a good friend and I committed to Bible Study together. We had been together fr the beginning of the lock down so we felt confident we were “ok” sharing space for an hour or so. What a Blessing it has been, and how much we have learned & discovered in this time together. I launched an evening group for women this fall at my home church. We have had as many as 14, but the average attendance fluctuates between 5-7. We meet weekly for 1 1/2 hours for sharing, study & prayer. I am soo blessed by this group. I hope you have been able to establish a group no matter what size. We grow in sharing.

  2. Amber Sapp says:

    We have a Local Women’s small group that does these weekly together. We share a meal and read and discuss. Maybe you could find some other ladies in your community or church that would be interested in something like that.

  3. Marilyn Jones says:

    There has been scriptures I have read and not understood. Then it seems now I read a scripture and it’s like wow where did that come from.

  4. Jpink says:

    Yes, I have the same problem

  5. Elizabeth McGee says:

    Eunuchs were men who had been castrated so the king or queen could trust them to be loyal to the ruler and not families of their own. Queen Candace had cruelly robbed him of his own family so she could have a servant who was easier to control. How ironic that God became his ruler and gave him an eternal family in heaven!! ❤️

  6. Jody Lynn says:

    Like the eunuch; I do think that when we seek out God, He puts people in our paths to direct us to Him. My “Philips” are Amber Smith, Lauren Akins, our SRT sister Angie, and all of our SRT sisters!!

  7. Beverly Watley says:

    I agree Emma, that would be wonderful. Great idea. Frankly, I thought we would at least once a week do a zoom meeting together. Maybe that something to ask about. ❤️

  8. Lexi B says:

    Emma I would love that as well! Where are you located? I’m in Central CA.

  9. Kelly says:

    Emma Juneau – yes I would love that too. Where in this world are you? I am in NE Ohio, USA

  10. Emma Juneau says:

    I’ve been doing these studies through SRT for a while now and I was wondering if anyone else was feeling like they would like a live discussion of some of these readings. I like the personal devotional feel of it, but I would LOVE to have a meeting like once a week to talk and connect with other women of faith. I have trouble finding women of faith in my day-to-day life and I could use someone like that.

    1. Maria Baer says:

      That would be awesome!

  11. Lynda Pontious says:

    The gospel is for every believer

  12. Sky Hilton says:

    Im so glad that Simon chose to go from being worshipped to worshiping God! That’s what it should all be about!Not us, but entirely about Him. Simon, also, like most of us, made a genuine mistake when it came to God. He thought that He had to pay the apostles to get the healing power they had. It’s almost like how we make a mistake when we come to God. We think we have to be perfect, but that’s further from the case. Like Simon, God just wants our genuine and open heart, We shouldn’t get mad at Simon for making that mistake. Instead we should be like him, to immediately make things better by correcting the mistake, instead of being defensive and angry.

    Also, I Loved how Philip did what the Holy Spirit wanted him to do immediately. I think we should all do that!

  13. Amy Bishop says:

    The text suggests that Simon was merely imitating Philip when he professed to believe.
    It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Well, God does not want to be flattered, He wants a real relationship with us.

  14. AG says:

    The story of the eunuch reminds me of how God knows every single individual and has a plan for us all.

    I pray that I can have the boldness of these apostles when sharing your word with others. Help me to find a way to share your good news that all are welcome in your forever family.

  15. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God cares about individual people; he sees them. I pray we can see people the way Jesus does and share the good news with them.

  16. Hannah-Rose Dallos says:

    Dear Lord,
    Please help us to remember that your plan doesn’t hit roadblocks the same way ours do. Please help us to trust in your Good plan, and to jump when the Holy Spirit moves in us to

  17. Hannah-Rose Dallos says:

    Dear Lord,
    Please help us to remember that your plan doesn’t hit roadblocks the same way ours do. Please help us to trust in your Good plan, and to jump when the Holy Spirit moves in us to

  18. Hannah-Rose Dallos says:

    Dear Lord,

  19. GramsieSue . says:

    This shows that we can know the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our witnessing, if we are walking in the spirit and praying for God‘s direction. This Ethiopian represents many people who are religious, read the Scriptures, and seek the truth, yet do not have the saving faith in Jesus Christ. They are sincere, but they are lost! They need someone to show them the way. God had already prepared the man’s heart to receive Phillips witness! If we obey the Lord‘s leading, we can be sure that God Will go before us and open the way for our witness. Hugs and prayers for all my sisters here ❤️

  20. Dorothy says:

    I meant Elijah not Elisha in my previous post. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who picked up on that verse — ERB and Mari V. and Victoria E..

  21. Dorothy says:

    This is my favorite story in Acts. I love how the eunuch admits he doesn’t understand to someone who is “beneath him”. Then invites Philip to ride with him and explain it to him. As I read the scripture I noticed a verse I hadn’t noticed before, “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.” There only two other times I can think of in the Bible where the Lord “snatched” one of His beloved children away — Melchizedek and Elisha — but they never returned. Philip was “teleported” to another location. WOW!! I wonder what was going through both of there heads and minds? I know God can do anything but in A.D. 34 to just poof be put in another location instantly. WOW!! Double WOW!!!!
    Sisters be blessed and look for the WOW God has put in today.

  22. Victoria E says:

    Mari V and ERB I was also struck by the taking up of Philip (and Elijah) by the Holy Spirit! Just the other day I was wishing I had the ability to teleport to be able to travel and see family across the country without risking COVID and here we see the Holy Spirit doing this supernatural things just like that !

  23. Victoria E says:

    Nads thank you for your moving prayer on behalf of us yesterday. I read it before bed and was so touched. Thank you to those who called out the passage on Simon and his immediate repentance and the contrast to the Ananias and Sapphira story, I actually totally missed that connection and that really deepened my understanding of the passage.

  24. Mari V says:

    ❤️this ERB I thought the same thing.

  25. Jessi says:

    Phoebe, Lara and Searching, I listen while driving to pick up my son from preschool or outside walking. I use Apple Podcasts app. I usually end up pausing and resuming several times. I just finished last week’s and loved it!

  26. Michelle Hart says:

    Kate- I think it is leading to a revival. At least in my own life, the wildness that we have been experiencing since 2020 has drawn me closer to God and strengthened my faith in Him!

  27. Maura says:

    Traci G I will see you Saturday at 10:30 am. Harbinger :) My brother Keith, lives in South Dakota, they got 16 inches of snow yesterday. This might be the only reason I would need to change plans. If you need to, please post in the morning to let me know, I will do the same. Hoping we don’t get that much snow for quite a while. Stay warm Sisters.

  28. Lara says:

    Praying that God would use me to spread the Good News at my new job. There’s no way He gifted me this job merely as a fulfillment for my own desires. It’s very easy for me to have blinders on and go about my business and do what I need to do. I’m praying that God would divinely orchestrate encounters with people at this school who are ready to know more about Him. I’m so afraid of saying the wrong thing (or actually saying the right thing, in the wrong way…I’m so not eloquent, but I want the Good News to be compelling and winsome!). But I know all I have to do is speak about “this Jesus” (as Christine Caine says), and the LORD will give people eyes to see and hears to hear. I took a screen shot of Tameisha’s devotional where it says it wasn’t about Philip being in the right place at the right time, it was a DIVINE orchestration of GOD who was READY to meet the eunuch’s DESIRE to know more about Him! It’s encouraging to remember that God is in control of who we encounter along the way as we follow Him. Lord, help me to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for IT is the power of God for salvation to all who believe!

  29. Lara Castillo says:

    @Phoebe – I do the same! This summer I would listen while I worked in my garden. Sometimes I find my mind wandering so I just hit the 15 second rewind a couple of times. I love the podcast!

  30. Maura says:

    So good SRT and HRT this morning. Thankful for all of you and your comments. I love Phillip’s obedience to the Spirit of God, and that he gets to speak into what the Ethiopian Eunich is already reading in scripture. I believe the Holy Spirit empowers us in so many ways to listen, to discern and to speak of our Lord. Praying I am ready to bless others like this when called to do so. What a blessing, that Phillip gets to baptise this man and connect him to Jesus love and grace. Lauren, praising God with you, will be praying. Our God is so GOOD. Hugs and love Sisters, praying His love mighty in your day. Please pray for my brother Fred, sil Shano and daughter Bailee, all have covid. And Bailee is in the hospital because she has ulcerative colitis and they are doing an colonoscopy, once they have the results of this they believe they might have to remove part of her colon. Thank you for your prayers.

  31. Terri says:

    In Acts 8:15-17 there is a clear example of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Verse 16 says “They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

  32. Mari V says:

    I always found it astonishing that Philip suddenly disappeared and appeared somewhere else continually spreading the gospel. And what a tender heart the eunuch must of had to accept the WORD immediately.

  33. Linda J says:

    Searching- I listen to the podcasts when I’m walking. Typically I walk about an hour. A time of no distractions for me. If I take a shorter path I split the podcast into two days. Has worked really well for me.

  34. Susie H says:

    MIRIAM, that Kings passage does seem a little random. I thought maybe it was giving an idea how Phillip was carried away like Elijah was carried away.

  35. Angela Sutherland says:

    “Our lives are forever marked with a deep joy that outlasts any situation we face, knowing that we are accepted by Him.” YES!!! This has been the story of my life this past year. Daily migraines since last November, it’s been a struggle…. but God!! He had carried me and joy bubbles up in me because I have the hope of a future because of Jesus!!!

  36. Angela Sutherland says:

    “Our lives are forever marked with a deep joy that outlasts any situation we face, knowing that we are accepted by Him.”

  37. Valentina says:

    SEARCHING- I usually listen to the podcasts while I am getting ready for the day. Usually, it takes me 2-3 days to get through it. I have found that I need to write down (I do this in a draft text, note, or somewhere else on my phone where I’ll see it) where I have stopped the podcast so I can pick up where I left off.
    I have also listened to podcasts or sermons while folding clothes, so that my hands are busy and my mind is more focused.

    Thank you to everyone who is praying for my sister!

  38. Kate Wells says:

    Isn’t it just like God to use the enemies plans to extinguish the church, to ignite a Holy fire that can’t be contained. He is so faithful and he is so good! Praying that the persecution happening in our nation and around the world right now will break into uncontainable revival! Gods plan can not be stopped! For nothing can separate us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah!

  39. Michelle says:

    SEARCHING – I listen to the She Reads Truth Podcast every morning when I travel in my car to work. In the morning is where I seem to focus more through listening. It breaks up the podcast and can even sync the days reading with where I am in the podcast! I hope this helps. Have a blessed day everyone.

  40. Lauren says:

    Good morning and a praise to share – a call from my doctor’s nurse late yesterday saying the MRI has been approved. Just waiting for it to be scheduled! Thank you for your prayers. The obedience and passion for sharing the Good News by the new and fledgling church is so inspiring. Amid such vicious and vile persecution they continued to speak truth to power. May God strengthen our witness so that we too, like Philip, recognize and act upon opportunities to share Jesus.

  41. Miriam says:

    The whole Acts 8 chapter and the verses in Isaiah 56 are such a beautiful display of God’s pursuit of us. As I read Acts 8, I was reminded of what our pastor said once: Philip and the eunuch story is a beautiful picture of God drawing near to someone as they seek and draw near to Him. God cared just as much for this Ethiopian’s salvation as he did for the crowds in verses 5-8. What a loving God, who, even in His great might and power, still cares for EACH of us individually and sees our needs individually! If someone is searching after Him, He will send someone to point them to Him. And Philip was the one who had that privilege with the Ethiopian eunuch…all because he was obedient and sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
    Also, just curious, how does 2 Kings 2:11 really tie into Acts 8?

  42. ERB says:

    KELLY, wanted to let you know what you wrote this morning really illuminated & blessed me!!

    SARAH WARSTLER, I hope you don’t mind, but I copied what you wrote about Saul & the church down in my journal. You helped me ‘see’ this first time and I appreciate it!!!

    May ALL you wonderful SRT ladies know what an incredible blessing you are and how much you add to the Body of Christ!! I truly appreciate all of your comments and insights!!! Many Blessings be upon each of you!!!

  43. ERB says:

    I loved seeing the immediate responses in today’s scriptures!!

    What really stood out to me was Simon Acts 8:18-25 he was corrected and called-out, but instead of defending and/or excusing himself, he immediately repented and asked for his heart to be changed!! What an example!!! I need to do this more: when corrected; immediately repent, turn, and ask for God to change my heart.

    I also loved the eunuch and his story, and how he was changed forever and immediately wanted to be baptized. SO good!! ….But what really caught my attention was Philip. Right after he baptized the eunuch, it says the “Spirit of the Lord carried him away” …I looked up what this meant and it appears that he was actually physically transported to the next place God wanted him to be!!! Can you imagine THAT?!!! Wow!!! Our God is AWESOME!!! Reading about Philip being carried away made me realize how completely and utterly devoted he was to God!! Talk about DEEP depths of trust and faith!!! WOW!!!!

    Such good stuff!!!

  44. Aimee D-R says:

    Father thank you that through the blood of Christ I am your daughter and heir to your Kingdom! ln Jesus name, Amen!

  45. Phoebe says:

    SEARCHING – Oops, my comment about the podcast was for you! I didn’t clarify that :)

    And thank you, everyone, for your input and thoughts in these comments. The Church is alive today! What an encouragement!

  46. Phoebe says:

    SEARCHING – Oops, my comment about the podcast was for you! I didn’t clarify that :)

  47. Jessica Fehland says:

    Ooo love that! Such a good way to look at Saul’s purpose. So so true!

  48. Phoebe says:

    I listen to the podcast while doing something with my hands – dishes, folding laundry, etc. Sometimes my mind wanders too, but for the most part having my hands busy helps me to listen!

  49. Kelly says:

    Good morning, Friends! This chapter in Acts could take a whole week to unpack!
    1) Peter and John’s response to Simon – so different than the response to Ananias and Sapphira. Here Simon had believed in Jesus, but he was still tainted with his old ways of operating in the world. Peter rebukes him, and he repents. An example of the discernment that the Holy Spirit gives to handle every situation.

    2) The precious eunuch – here is a man seeking God. He was coming from Jerusalem. Was he there to worship? As we read in Deuteronomy, even if he had converted to Judaism, he would not have been allowed in the temple because he was a eunuch. He was rich enough to have his own copy of a scroll of Isaiah and was earnestly seeking to know and understand God. So in His grace and mercy, God goes to him. With his eyes opened to the gospel by Philip, he places his trust in Jesus and is no longer “unworthy” of experiencing God’s presence, but now is filled with God’s Spirit. He was likely the first missionary to Africa.

    3) Philip – his obedience to the Lord’s leading brought him many blessings.

    4) Jesus told the disciples to go to Judea, Samaria, and beyond. However, until the persecution came they were still huddled in Jerusalem. The persecution pushed them out of the nest so to speak, and moved them in the direction that they were supposed to be going.

    REBEKKA PAUL, JULIA BROWN, NIKKI TOLSON, SYDNEY and others who struggle with staying in or understanding the Bible, please read today’s He Reads Truth devotional and be encouraged that the effort is worth it. Just ask the eunuch!

  50. Sarah Warstler says:

    I had never realized how much of a blessing it was that Saul ravaged the church. The church wasn’t doing anything wrong, but he forced them out of their comfort zones. In doing so, the Gospel began to spread to other areas. I loved ‘seeing’ this for the first time!

  51. SarahJoy says:

    So many good comments already!
    We are chosen although foreigners. Thank you, God, for allowing us to be grafted into your family.
    “I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:8

  52. SarahJoy says:

    SEARCHING – I usually listen to podcasts in the car or while doing my housework. If you download them, you could take them with you. Sometimes it takes me a few sessions to get through the SRT podcasts because they’re lengthy. I have an app that allows me to go back to it and pick up where I left off. I use Overcast for listening to podcasts.

  53. SEARCHING says:

    KARRIE – praying in earnest for your family, for your girls to join in, be a part of and support the family’s reconciliation. Praying for you, healing from the tension, anxiety and feelings of depression. On the hard days, I try (sometimes more successful than others) to focus and remember things I’m thankful for, especially relative to whatever I’m facing. Sending hugs and love your way!

    LEXI B – what a great praise report! Praying for focus and retention of all the information you will be learning and wisdom in applying it to your business. Look for “extra credit” opportunities in class work and meetings.

    EMMA SCHILTER – praying for your and your precious baby, for faith over anxieties and fears. The sleepless nights, teething fussiness and endless diaper changes will give way to amazement, especially in the next several months as your baby learns, grows and interacts with you more and more.

    DOROTHY – praying that Finley is doing well today. Thank you for sharing “I just don’t know” – same here!

    FOSTER MAMA – your comment yesterday about killing me in those small ways, great reminder to watch out for this.

    NADS – amazing prayers for us all – thank you!

    VALENTINA – praying for Victoria

    LAUREN – praying for a quick resolution for the MRI and your health

    Any tips for listening to the podcasts? I can’t seem to focus at all and have given up. I was so excited to see that Francine Rivers (have read many of her books and LOVED Redeeming Love) was on the first Hosea podcast and couldn’t wait to listen, well that didn’t even last 5 minutes.

  54. Miri am says:

    Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. In persecution, they responded with joy, spreading the good news in their scattering! What humans could have seen as disaster and defeat, God had a plan for the advancement of his kingdom. Oh how often do I see disaster and defeat instead of trusting God has a plan for his kingdom!!

  55. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Thank you Lord

  56. Prue Anne says:

    Oh the grace to call us in, i am reminded of hosea’s children- not chosen, not loved. And yet God changed their name, our status, to being chosen, God’s people, being loved. I forget that as a white woman l am not by any means what the Old Testament would have called. “Chosen” l am very much a gentile and yet, in his great mercy the lord chose me, called me, and has poured out his spirit on all people. Praise The Lord! That everyone Who calls on his name would be saved and called children of God. ♥️

  57. Poppy Waskett says:

    What could have been a extinguisher of the spread of the gospel, in Gods sovereignty and kingdom power means that the fulfilment of the promise to spread the gospel is catalysed. Yet again when the church faces persecution the power of God is revealed. Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20. In covid the shutting down of church buildings could
    Have led to despair as Christians wonder how the kingdom will advance but by gods spirit and power there is no limit and the gospel has been advancing. Praise God. Today I chose to look behind the circumstances ahead to the one who is in control, Lord, you can do all things, thank you.

  58. Poppy Waskett says:

    What could have been a extinguisher of the spread of the gospel, in Gods sovereignty and kingdom power means that the fulfilment of the promise to spread the gospel is catalysed. Yet again when the church faces persecution the power of God is revealed. Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20. In covid the shutting down of church buildings couldWhen worldly events look to dampen the spread of the