Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Look, Here is Water!

32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
 33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
 34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” [5] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.(Acts 8:32-40 (ESV)
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”  “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Those are wonderful moments in the Christian’s life when you get to share the gospel. Even more so glorious when those who are listening are interested in what you have to say.  Sharing the gospel is never a futile event. It is never fruitless. Though it may seem so, the word of God accomplishes its purpose. It may not always have the effect we desire but we leave that in God’s hands and are thankful for the privilege of being his messenger. But here the Eunuch asks to be baptized. And when this happens, well the angels in heaven rejoice and so do we.
“See, here is water.” There is an odd phrase floating about the baptist circles today. It is water baptism. It’s an odd phrase because there really isn’t any other type of baptism. There is one baptism (Eph. 4) and we see here that it requires water. The word baptism actually carries the connotation of water so much so that in all ancient documents Christian or none Christian water was assumed unless otherwise specified. When Jesus says, “go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them.” The disciples did not have to ask, “with what?” They knew water was meant.  It is also true that the disciples would have no way of knowing who had been baptized and who had not been if it wasn’t water baptism. For the spirit blows where it pleases and faith is a rather invisible thing. So when 3,000 are baptized in one day we know that water was being used.

When the Eunuch is done being baptized the Spirit carries Philip away. His job there is done. The Spirit will provide other means with which the Eunuch will have his faith nutured and fed. But Philip finds himself in Azotus and preaches in all the towns on his way to Caeserea. There he stays. This was a port town built by Herod. Actually would have been a very posh neighborhood, the ruins of this town are even beautiful. Paul will end up spending quite some time himself here in this town, which is probably how Luke comes to know so much of Philips activity. 

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