"The Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join this chariot.' Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him...Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. Acts 8:29-35
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was fond of telling his student preachers that he could find Jesus, in every text he preached. Unfortunately, some preachers can't find Jesus, no matter what text they use. Philip was a forerunner of Spurgeon's preaching strategy. PREACH JESUS!
Note to self: When you preach, let the Scripture be your starting blocks, and when the clock starts, run to Jesus.
When Jesus intercepted the couple on the Road to Emmaus, He walked them through Genesis to Malachi, and revealed God's redemptive story. He was convinced, it was all about Him, from start to finish. Good to know. Some preachers second-guess Jesus, looking for a second opinion, from people who know a great deal about the Bible, but don't seem to be able to find The Word. Listen to Jesus.
The Spirit pulled Philip out of a booming Spiritual Awakening in Samaria, and moved him down into the desert, to meet one man struggling with getting a grip on the word of God. In God's scheme of things, this made perfect sense. He always makes the wisest use of manpower.
"Philip ran up" to the man who was in the chariot. There is something about this statement that warms my heart, and gives me an appreciation for Philip. It would have been understandable, if Philip had been less than enthusiastic about taking an assignment that put him on the backside of the desert, instead of in the middle of a Great Awakening. He didn't drag his feet. He ran to meet the challenge. I want to be like Philip, when I grow up.
Philip took this Isaiah 53 passage, about The Suffering Servant, and he pointed the Ethiopian eunuch to Jesus. IT ISN'T HARD...
"But the Lord caused the iniquity of all to fall on Him." Isaiah 53:7
"Yet He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12
See what I mean? A little more impressive is Philip's ability to lead the Ethiopian to a commitment to baptism. I have read Isaiah 53 over and over again, and can't find anything about it. Even more impressive, was Philip's ability to find water in the middle of the desert, so the Ethiopian could be baptized. Philip may be my new poster boy for Southern Baptists. But I digress.
"When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, ...he kept on preaching the gospel to al the cities until he came to Caesarea." Acts 8: 40
Philip was 100% available to the Holy Spirit's agenda, and when he was given a task to perform, he ran to it. When Philip was given a text to explain, he ran to Jesus. Where ever he went, or where ever he ended up, one thing was a constant in the life of Philip. He preached Jesus. May his tribe increase.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!