Philip and the eunuch are riding along, discussing Isaiah and his prophecy of the messiah’s death. “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?’”(Acts 8:36). It is clear that Philip has told him that baptism is part of how we respond to the good news about Jesus. But what is impressive is the eunuch’s zeal. If he believes the message—and there is water right here—then what’s the holdup?
“And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him”(Acts 8:38). Baptism is significant here because it shows that the eunuch truly believes in Jesus as the promised messiah. Baptism is a reenactment of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, which we can safely presume he has learned from Philip. But Isaiah also speaks of the messiah’s sacrifice as taking away sin (Isa 53:4-6, 10-12) and it is in baptism that the eunuch receives this forgiveness (see Acts 2:38, 22:16). It is notable that as soon as they come out of the water, Philip is carried away and the eunuch “went on his way rejoicing”(Acts 8:39). After the baptism, Philip’s work is done and the eunuch can celebrate his salvation.
The eunuch is a tremendous example of eager obedience. When he learns of God’s will, he does not debate or resist. God wants me to be baptized? Here’s some water! Let’s do it! May God bless us all to be so eager to obey him!
One thing to think about: Do I ever resist the things God tells me to do? How?
One thing to pray for: The eunuch’s spirit of eager obedience
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