Scriptures and Reflections for February 12 – February 17
Monday, Feb 12, Acts 2 8:26-27a
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”).
I wonder what Philip expected to find when he went out to the desert road? Did he have any idea that there would be a man waiting on someone like him? Did he care? Was Philip prepared when he met the Ethiopian man? I often wonder if God puts anyone in my life for a moment as this. Then I wonder am I prepared and would I recognize the voice of an angel. What preparation would I need to share what I know about God? I think I’ll find out when those moments come and trust that God has given me what He wants me to share.
Tuesday, Feb 13, Acts 8:27b-30a
This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet.
This time the Spirit directs Philip. Luke doesn’t offer a reason why the Spirit leads Philip instead of another angel, but Philip faithfully follows. He actually ran to the Ethiopian and began to eaves drop. Similar to an earlier verse, what did Philip expect to find when he ran to the chariot? How well did Philip know the voice of the person who gave him these instructions? How well do I know it? What do I expect to talk about when I meet friends for lunch? Next time I have a conversation about religion with someone, I might wonder if God set this up—who knows.
Wednesday, Feb 14, Acts 8:30b-31
“Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
I remember when I first starting reading the bible, I was proud of what it said to me. As I studied more I found that I saw the passage differently. Now I wonder if I will see other passages differently a year from now. This Ethiopian knew he lacked understanding. The more I learn, the more I realize that I often lack the understanding also. I am the person who helps people understand or am I someone who needs more understanding. I often think I’m both. I doubt I’d ever fully understand God, so for now, I’ll just share what I know and keep my mind open for more knowledge.
Thursday, Feb 15, Acts 8:32-33
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
This passage tests my faith. When I think about Jesus not speaking, the first thing that comes to mind is how quick I complain. I gossip about someone who has a shortcoming, either towards me or someone else. I can’t wait to put them beneath me with some harsh and embellished description of their behavior. Yet, Jesus remained completely silent even as they led Him to death. I would have comments all the way up until death. I could take a lesson from Him.
Friday, Feb 16, Acts 8:34-35
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
What makes death good news? I am sure that may have been at least one of the questions that the eunuch considered when Philip helped him understand this story. My idea of death usually means the end—never to be seen or heard from again. The eunuch must have had a pretty open mind to accept Philips interpretation at face value, or at least a large amount of faith. Or better yet, maybe God opened his heart the same time that Philip explained the story’s meaning.
Saturday, Feb 17, Acts 8:36-39
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
I remember when I got baptized; the biggest question that ran through my mind was “am I good enough for this?” I got passed the fear once the water went up my nose. Then I got up and felt great about it. The first step seemed like the biggest step. Through all my fear, I decided to get baptized and start my new life in getting to know Jesus. I learn more each day, yet I still remember the first step.