Philip and the Eunuch

Acts   8:26-40


Verse 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

I.    Acts 8:5-8 describes the great time of worship Philip was enjoying in Samaria.  He was evidently the leader of this great time of soul winning and casting out of Satan.

A.  It seems odd to us that God would tell Philip to leave this great time of service and go into another place to serve one man.

1.      Some people might believe that Philip had the power, so when he left, they would understand the power came from God.

2.   It might be that Philip needed to understand that he was God's servant, and God wasn't his servant.   (I doubt this was true with Philip, but it might be true with us.)

B.   I am glad Philip didn't object to God's calling him to another place, using the excuse that he had just got things going the right way.

1.      Some people and preachers today, it seems to me, get to thinking that God must do what they want Him to do.

2.      Some people and preachers today, it seems to me, get to thinking they need a great preacher to lead their church when they really need to trust God, and let Him lead them.

3.      Some people today want to follow many programs, which they believe will make their church successful.  They forget that true success doesn't come from programs, but from God.


Verse 27  And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

I.    There is no record that Philip had any objection to leaving Samaria and traveling to the desert of Gaza


II.   A eunuch is a bed-keeper, bed guard, superintendent of the bedchamber, chamberlain, in the palace of oriental monarchs who support numerous wives; the superintendent of the women's apartment or harem.  An emasculated man.  One naturally incapacitated -- either for marriage, or for begetting children, one who voluntarily abstains from marriage.

A.  There is never a mention of this man's name in the Bible.

B.   Some characteristics of this man.

1.   He was a eunuch, therefore had no leanings of a sexual nature.  Therefore he was not distracted in his study by sexual desire.

2.   He was an educated man.  He was in charge of all the queen's treasuries, and had to have an education to understand how to handle this large amount of money and give the proper accounting to the queen.

3.   He was a man of great detail.  Being in charge of the treasuries of the queen, he had to look to the detail of transactions so the queen's finances would be used to her benefit.

4.   He was a good business man.  If he failed at this job, he would not be "head treasurer" long.

5.   He was probably an older man.  One does not step into this type of position without "paying his dues" in climbing up the ladder.

6.   He was a man that was accustomed to having authority.  He is in charge of all the queen's treasuries, not merely working for the queen in the treasury department.  He knew what authority was and knew how to use his authority to get the job done.  He was used to working with people, motivating them to performance.

C.   Why did the eunuch go to Jerusalem?

1.   To worship.

D.  Why didn't he worship the gods of Egypt?

1.   He knew that was not true worship.

2.   I am going to read "between the lines" right here, but I believe that since the eunuch was an educated man, a man acquainted with authority, and a man familiar with searching out the truth, he also searched out the truth about religion.  It seems he was a man who wanted nothing but the truth, and was accustomed to checking out the details of an entire project to make sure he was personally satisfied with the result.  When he began to check out the details of Egyptian religion, he was personally unsatisfied with the result.  That religion was not for him.  I believe this man checked out many religions, and the religion of the Jews was just one more religion he was investigating.


Verse 28  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

I.    As the eunuch traveled back home, he began to think about the things he had seen and heard while in Jerusalem.

A.  Some questions came to his mind, so he either stopped to read about those things, or while stopping to rest from his travels began to read about those things.

1.   I also wonder if he purchased a copy of the book of Isaiah while in Jerusalem.

2.      There is no mention of how the book came into his possession.

3.   I lean toward believing he purchased the book while in Jerusalem because he could have read the scripture in Egypt without going to Jerusalem.


Verse 29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

I.    Philip continues to obey the will of God.


Verse 30  And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

I.    Philip runs toward the eunuch.

A.  Philip doesn't hesitate, believing he has plenty of time to obey the commands of God.

B.   Have you ever felt God's command to witness to someone, yet failed to do so because you felt there was plenty of time?

1.      Then you looked up and things had changed and it was too late to witness to that person?

2.      Philip will not miss the opportunity God has given him.

C.   As Philip runs toward the chariot, he hears the eunuch reading.

1.      Philip is not paying so much attention to his running as to reaching his destination.

2.      Philip hears the eunuch reading, and recognizes the passage


II.   The eunuch is so intent upon understanding that he is reading out loud.

A.            Humans often do this when they are trying very hard to understand what they are reading.

1.      Notice that the eunuch is concentrating so hard on the scriptures that he doesn't stop reading when he knows that Philip (a stranger) is listening.

2.   He is not reading to himself because reading out loud helps us understand what we are reading.

B.   He is not ashamed that he is reading his Bible.

1.      Lost people need to become so interested in their soul that they don't care who knows they are lost.

2.      When I was lost, I wanted to be saved, but I was afraid that people would see me.

3.      When the Lord saved me, I didn't care who saw me.


III. A simple question.

A.  Don't make leading someone to the Lord difficult.

1.      Start with the basics and go from there.

2.      Start from where the person is and go from there.


Verse 31  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

I.    Nobody learns the scripture by themselves, but every individual must learn the Bible for themselves.  Everything we learn has been taught to us by others.  There is nothing new under the sun.

A.  I Cor. 3:5-7 - Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gives the increase.

1.      Everybody has somebody they can remember that told them about God and his salvation.

2.      They might not have paid any attention, but God would later use that information, along with other information, to bring that person to Himself.

B.   The eunuch was willing to accept help from a stranger.

1.      And God provided the stranger.

2.      Remember that the eunuch was a very educated man.

3.   If Philip didn't tell him the truth to the eunuch, he wouldn't necessarily believe it.

4.   The eunuch would evaluate Philip's message and look in it for that which he was needing to fill the vacuum in his soul.

5.      Also remember that this vacuum was there because of the Holy Spirit was dealing with him about salvation.


Verse 32, 33  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: {33} In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

Quoted from Isaiah 53:7,8.


Verse 34  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

I.    Simple question, very easy to answer.  The plan of salvation is very simple, and should be kept simple.


II.   Sometimes salvation comes only after some very basic, simple questions are answered.


Verse 35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.



Verse 36  And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

I.    I have heard it said that the reason the eunuch asked to be baptized is because Philip preached that he had to be baptized in order to be saved.

A.  I believe Philip did tell him about baptism, but only after the eunuch brought it up.

1.   He had just been at Jerusalem to worship.

2.   He, no doubt, had seen baptizing there, or at least had heard about people being baptized.

3.   He, no doubt at the very least, had heard talk about Jesus Christ.

4.   But he didn't understand what he heard or saw.  Philip explained about baptism.


Verse 37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

I.    Philip is standing on the same ground as John the Baptist.

A.  Matt. 3:7-12.

1.      John the Baptist refused to baptize those that didn't have fruits meet (suitable) for repentance.

2.      Philip wouldn't baptize the eunuch if he didn't have fruits meet (suitable) for repentance.

3.   The fruit John and Philip is looking for is confession with the mouth, Rom. 10:9, 10.

4.   It is very important to notice that the words that come out of the mouth doesn't save.

5.   It is believing (salvation in the heart) that causes the words to be said.


Verse 38  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

I.    It is almost redundant to say that both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water for baptism to take place.

A.  Some folks today, however, believe that sprinkling or pouring is baptism.

1.      Baptism is an immersion, not a sprinkling or a pouring.

2.   The pictures (pictures are so deceiving) of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ standing in the River Jordan and John is pouring or sprinkling water on Christ are wrong.

3.   It would make no sense at all for Philip to get into the river in order to pour or sprinkle water on the eunuch.

4.   But it would be absolutely necessary for both Philip and the eunuch to get into the water for Philip to completely immerse the eunuch.


Verse 39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.



Verse 40  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.