Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Job 8-10; Acts 8:26-40
30 Running up to the carriage, Philip heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?”
31 The man replied, “Without someone to guide me, how could I?” Then he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. 32 This was the passage of scripture he was reading:
Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent
so he didn’t open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was taken away from him.
Who can tell the story of his descendants
because his life was taken from the earth?
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? Is he talking about himself or someone else?” 35 Starting with that passage, Philip proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 As they went down the road, they came to some water.
The eunuch said, “Look! Water! What would keep me from being baptized?” 38 He ordered that the carriage halt. Both Philip and the eunuch went down to the water, where Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit suddenly took Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip found himself in Azotus. He traveled through that area, preaching the good news in all the cities until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8:30-40, Common English Bible).
I am pretty sure I have told you before, I know I have told some of you before, I was never a good math student. On more than one occasion I made my way to the teacher’s desk and said, “I don’t understand, please explain.” Sometimes it helped. Sometimes it didn’t. And then sometimes, I would have been better off if I had just stayed at my desk and tried to figure it out for myself. I was even more lost after the teacher explained than I was when I walked to the desk.
Before I attended seminary I had to have a philosophy class. It was a requirement to enter seminary. If you didn’t take the class as part of your undergraduate degree, you would take something similar once you arrived on the SMU campus. I am not sure how I passed that class. I have no clue what I read at all. I needed someone to explain it to me.
Before entering the ministry, Cindy and I taught the junior high Sunday school class at our church. We were studying Genesis. One of the girls asked a question, I don’t remember what now (hey, its been like 30 years ago. Give me a break). When neither Cindy or I knew the answer, I told her I would talk to our pastor and get an answer. I did. He told me to tell my young student, “Somethings aren’t meant for us to understand.” I did tell her just that. Praise God she accepted that at face value and we moved on.
The Ethiopian eunuch was trying to read the Scriptures, most likely without retaining much because he didn’t understand much. I think it might be kind of like being a kid like that girl in my Sunday school class so many years ago. Think about being a 15-year-old and trying to understand as you read the King James Version of the Bible. Some may understand, but most would be scratching their heads. They wouldn’t understand.
That is why Cindy and I were in that classroom. We were to teach what those kids didn’t know and when we didn’t know, we were supposed to look for the answer. That is also why the eunuch had Phillip. And, it is pretty easy to see that when Phillip explained the eunuch understood.
It may take prayer. It may take asking a Christian who knows more than you, but we all need to remember the eunuch’s answer to Phillip’s question, “Do you understand what you are reading.” The eunuch replied, “How can I without someone to guide me?”
In a moment like that, perhaps God is calling on you to be a guide and to explain.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved