26-28 Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: “At noon
today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from
Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian
eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister
in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians.
He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.
29-30 The Spirit
told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” Running up alongside,
Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you
understand what you’re reading?”
31-33 He answered,
“How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into
the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this:
As a sheep led to slaughter,
and quiet as a lamb being sheared,
He was silent, saying nothing.
He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial.
But who now can count his kin
since he’s been taken from the earth?
34-35 The eunuch
said, “Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself
or some other?” Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage
as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
36-39 As they
continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch
said, “Here’s water. Why can’t I be baptized?”
He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water,
and Philip baptized him on the spot. When they came up out of the
water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was
the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn’t mind. He had
what he’d come for and went on down the road as happy as he
40 Philip showed
up in Azotus and continued north, preaching the Message in all the
villages along that route until he arrived at Caesarea.