The Converted Nobleman
Acts 8:26-39
And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza…

Here we have —


1. He was under Divine guidance (ver. 29). The success of the gospel ministry will be always in proportion to our nearness to God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit on our hearts. Learning, eloquence, and organisation are useful handmaids of the truth, but, like the wire of a telegraph, they are only a medium over which the Divine fluid may pass.

2. He was personal in his appeal (ver. 30). We speak too much about doctrines, doubts, and evidences, and too little to individual consciousness.

3. He was orthodox in his doctrine (ver. 35). Christ is the centre and circumference of the gospel ministry.

II. A GENUINE TRUTH-SEEKER. Men study for display, for discovery, to baffle an antagonist. The eunuch was in real mental distress whilst searching for the truth.

1. He was devout and earnest. He respected the outward rites of the old religion, and travelled scores of miles to be present at the passover. There he procured for himself a manuscript of the "Evangelical Prophet," and perused it eagerly on his way home. It is a great thing for us to be on the path of duty. A parallel case may be found in the history of Luther discovering the Latin Bible at Erfurt. The earnest and devout inquirer never seeks in vain, as is proved in the history of Nicodemus, Cornelius, and Lydia.

2. He was frank and honest. He confessed his ignorance (ver. 31). Seldom will human nature acknowledge its defects. Self-love prompts man to hide his faults from his dearest friends, yea, from Omniscience. That which is quite plain to us was to him an inscrutable enigma, because there was such discrepancy between public expectation and the description of the Prophet. The Jews expected a Prince, and the eunuch could not reconcile His humiliation with royal pomp and victory.

3. He possessed an unprejudiced mind. Men too often study the Word of God with pre-formed creeds — hence they warp the truth to support falsehood. The crew of a ship in distress are not over-scrupulous respecting the medium by which they are rescued — a raft, plank, rope, anything is welcomed that can bring them safe to land. Even so the man who traverses the boisterous sea of scepticism, if afraid of being engulfed in the yawning waves, he lays hold of the most insignificant medium, so as to reach the shore of truth safe.

4. Once convinced he did not procrastinate (ver. 36). Thus he received one of the outward signs of discipleship. Thousands are satisfied that Jesus is the only Saviour of the world, still they procrastinate. These are like a somnambulist walking upon the verge of a precipice; or, like a man sleeping upon the rails, that shall soon be swept over by the ponderous wheels of the express train.

III. A TRUE CONVERSION. His conviction was instantaneous and enlightened.

1. He possessed faith. "I believe." Faith is indispensable to salvation. The faith of the eunuch was in the right object — "Jesus Christ" — not in circumcision, nor in the Virgin Mary, nor in priestcraft, but in the God-man. The Jews stung by the fiery serpents could not be healed without looking upon the brazen serpent; even so, without looking up to a crucified Redeemer with the eye of faith, the wounds and bruises of sin cannot be healed.

2. He possessed a peaceful mind (ver. 39). Well might he rejoice, for he was now delivered from guilt and condemnation; he had peace with God and joy in the Holy Ghost.

(W. A. Griffiths.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert."

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