“‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I unless someone explains it to me?’”Acts 8:30b-31a
They were opposites, these two. One, a well-bred and entrusted nobleman; the other, a member of a rag-tag, misunderstood group of rebels intent on turning the world upside down. God would give the same command to both of them that hot afternoon, causing their worlds to collide, and neither of them would be the same when the dust settled. (Spoiler Alert: If you are reading this then you are one of these two characters.)
We find this colorful encounter between the apostle Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch at the end of Acts 8. Though he could read the words, this educated official simply could not make heads or tails of the fragile parchment he was holding in his royal chariot. Not until an unexpected guest breezed onto his sideboard, that is.
Enter Phillip, one of the first preachers of Christianity. It didn’t take long for Phillip to untangle the words of Isaiah in such a way that this seeker could understand and find the One he sought. In fact, we read that in short order, this new believer was looking for a makeshift baptistery among the sand dunes.
Phillip merely repeated what he had been sharing ever since his own ah-ha moment: believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37). He didn’t reinvent a story. He didn’t perform a miracle. He wasn’t even responsible for how the eunuch responded to what he just read. He simply opened his mouth and acted. Phillip likely headed out that morning unaware that he was going to stumble into the path of a queen’s attendant on the edge of a decision with eternal implications. But we read that he did the same thing God calls you and me to do today: 1) be available and 2) act.
Interestingly, the eunuch did the very same thing. He could have said, “This spiritual stuff is too heavy and above my pay-grade—who needs it?” But he didn’t. He made himself available to hear the truth. And like his new renegade friend, he acted out of obedience. Immediately. Baptized before the sun went down, he practically dragged Phillip along for the ride!
So have you figured out which one you are? If you’re seeking, He’s waiting. Our God doesn’t play hide-and-seek. He plays seek-and-seek. One of the best places to find answers to questions about the Bible is in Sunday School. And if you have already had your own ah-ha moment, it’s time to keep your eyes out for those stalled chariots. Maybe you’re reading this sentence right now, and God is calling you to be available and act. Find an opportunity to teach others the Truth you have been entrusted with.