And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 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?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 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. 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 8:34-40 ESV)
There’s so much just in that short passage that we could talk about. There’s a foreigner being brought into the Church. There’s the water baptism as a sign of belief and entering into the fold of the Church. In the larger part of this story, we see Phillip, in the beginning, risking his life in order to follow a specific message from God. And there’s this whole thing about being carried by “the Spirit of the Lord”.
I think that how this story begins and ends is highly significant to believers today. Seriously. Go read Acts Chapter 8 and you’ll see what I mean. Phillip begins by following a direct communication from God. He runs up to what must have been a well armed and guaded chariot carrying a powerful political figure simply because God told him to. That’s crazy! Then he talks freely with the leader in that chariot. He should have bee killed before he ever got close enough to speak. Remember the story of the “Good Samaitan”? This is the same, bandit infested road. I’m certain any stranger running up to a caravan would have been regarded as a threat.
Then,at the end, after completing his mission, Phillip is carried by the Spirit of God to Azotus. Two things. Fisrt of all, a more literal translations might read that Phillip was “snatched up” by the Spirit of God. The impression is that one second Phillip is hanging with the Ethipian official and the next second he’s vanished from that place. Seriously. Check out a map. Azotus is miles away on the coast. From that city, Phillip makes his way North until he reaches Caesarea where he forms a church where is four daughters (and presumably others) are famous for prophesying.
So, what we need to do is to get in touch with God, listen to what He tells us to do and then go for it. After that, we need to be prepared for Him to move in unexpected, powerful ways. And, of course we also have to keep listening and following. God is amazing and is more than willing to do amazing things in our lives when we let Him.