• March 27, 2014



Maybe you have concluded that Christianity simply is not for people like you.

You know who had every reason to think that the gospel was not for him? The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. He could have said to Phillip, “I hear this good news, but look, I’m not from Jerusalem. I just got back from there. I’ve been there. I’ve looked around. Nobody looks like me there. I’m from a kingdom down in Africa. I’m not part of God’s chosen race. And besides that, I’m a eunuch and your law says something about eunuchs not coming to the temple. So it sounds wonderful and I will certainly respect your God, but I can see that to be a full blown child of God is not for me.”

You may remember that the Ethiopian was reading Isaiah when he met Philip on the road. Beginning with Isaiah 53:7-8, Philip told him the good news about Jesus. I wonder, if in the course of explaining the good news, Phillip turned to a couple other passages in Isaiah. Maybe said to the eunuch, “You know what? While you have the Isaiah scroll open, would you look at Isaiah 11. In that day the LORD will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush [Ethiopia], from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.” And maybe Phillip said, “Do you see? God promised here in Isaiah that he would save people from your country, people just like you.”

And maybe Phillip said, “There’s another passage in Isaiah I want to show you.” And he turned to Isaiah 56: Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.  And perhaps Phillip said, “Do you see, friend, what it says? If you keep the covenant and you come to Christ and you believe and repent, you can have a name better than sons and daughters. You will have an everlasting name and God will raise up a monument. Even eunuchs can come to Christ.”

We don’t know if Philip mentioned these verses, but they certainly wold have been good news for a eunuch from Ethiopia. The gospel offer is for all. “Come, everyone who thirsts, some to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isa. 55:1).

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