An Ethiopian Government Minister
Ethiopian Falasha Women at the kotel, The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem
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An Ethiopian Minister Meets Jesus
We don't know his name, but we know he was The Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Queen of Ethiopia, whose name was Candace. And he must have been a God-fearing Gentile believer in the God of the Jews.
A Puzzling Picture Of God's Saviour
The Chancellor had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to attend one of the three major Jewish festivals and was reading ISAIAH Chapter 53, where God gives Isaiah a prophetic picture of his promised Messiah as a Suffering Servant, who will take the punishment for us. The Chancellor is wondering: Who is this Person being led like a lamb to the slaughter?
A Strange Instruction Leads To A Divine Appointment
Meanwhile in Samaria Philip the evangelist had been given instructions by an angel to go out of the town and take the road to the desert. This must have seemed crazy to Philip because there was a Holy Spirit revival throughout Samaria and whole villages were coming to know Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.
Philip obeys and encounters the Ethiopian minister's cavalcade on their way back to Ethiopia. The Holy Spirit instructs Philip to approach the minister's chariot. When Philip comes alongside, he asks the Ethiopian if he understands what he is reading!
"How can I unless someone explains the passage to me?" he replies and invites Philip up into his chariot.
Philip's Obedience Leads To The Ethiopian's Conversion & Baptism In Water
This is the opening for Philip to explain how the prophecy in ISAIAH 53 which he has just been reading has been fulfilled in Jesus. This Suffering Servant, Philip explains, is none other than Jesus Christ who was crucified just outside Jerusalem and rose again two days later to prove his claim to be the Saviour of the world - God's promised Messiah.
The Holy Spirit overwhelms the Ethiopian with the realisation that he has found the Messiah. No need to go on searching in vain by observing religious rituals. All he needs to do is to follow Jesus through the waters of baptism and be filled with the Spirit.
Read the story in ACTS 8:26-40
Q1 What part has Scripture played in your coming to know God ?
Q2 How has God spoken to you through his Word? How did you know it was God?