Job 8-10 Acts 8:26-40
“The officer said to Philip, ‘Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?’ Philip began to speak, and starting with this same Scripture, he told the man the Good News about Jesus.” (Acts 8:34-35 NCV)
He had a long journey ahead of him, and the Ethiopian Eunuch, a court official, was reading in his chariot, headed back home. He would eventually cross the Red Sea and follow the Nile River as long as possible, heading though Egypt and modern-day Sudan before reaching his home country. He was in the early stages of His journey when the Spirit directed Philip to find him. Whether the Ethiopian was reading at a rest stop, or the horses were moving slowly, Philip heard the official reading from the book of Isaiah. He asked a simple question: “Do you understand what you’re reading?” The Ethiopian didn’t understand this passage that talked about the suffering servant and Philip used the opportunity to tell him the good news about Jesus.
The message of Jesus really is good news to our world. You wouldn’t know it the way some people talk about Jesus. Some go to one extreme and seem to proclaim nothing but gloom and doom. The world is going to end. Everyone who doesn’t know Jesus is a filthy sinner, and they seem to take delight in talking about all those sins, and bound for eternal destruction in hell. If I were to follow what those people taught, I’d believe God is eternal killjoy, just looking for a chance to zap people and send them to hell. On the other hand, some seem to view God as a benevolent grandfather who, as grandparents do, plays with His grandchildren and indulges them in whatever they do. They won’t speak of hell or the wrath of God, because they don’t believe God works that way. They may or may not preach that God will bring everyone to heaven (universalism) but they reject any idea that non-believers face God’s wrath on earth, or eternally in hell. Both sides invalidate the idea that the gospel is good news. When Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, it was because there was such a penalty. As Philip spoke to the Ethiopian, he told the man the good news. Since they were starting from the idea of the suffering servant, that death had to make sense. The death of Jesus only makes sense if it served a greater purpose: God’s purpose. It opened the door to Heaven so that we might be saved from the wrath of God. His wrath is righteous because God is perfect. His forgiveness is assured because God offers it based on the planned death of His own Son – Jesus. The gospel of Jesus is good news because there is bad news without Jesus. So many today feel oppressed by religion that focuses on the bad news. Let’s make today a day where we share the good news of Jesus with others. We have the hope of heaven, the promise of being with God forever. What could be better news than that?
Lord, there are so many suffering as they deal with the weight of their sin. Remind me to love them like You do. Remind me that my call isn’t to add to the weight of their suffering, but to let them know the good news of Your love, compassion and forgiveness.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved