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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

Sermon to The Ethiopian Eunuch - March 18, 2005


ACTS 8:25- 40

Sermon of the Week #200511- March 18, 2005

            Philip’s sermon to the Ethiopian Eunuch is an example of New Testament preaching. Although the sermon is not recorded the text for his message is given. We have a right to assume that Philip being a New Testament preacher would stick closely to the text. But first we need to notice the situation and just how Philip came to be the preacher on this occasion.

            An angel of the Lord spake unto Philip saying, "Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza." The fact that an angel was sent to give him this directive should come as no surprise. In the book of Hebrews we read concerning angels; Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation? When this world has come to an end and we are on the other side of the Jordan it may come as no surprise to have some angel tell us how many times they had been sent to help work out some divine directive in our lives while on earth.

            The angel did not tell Philip where he was going, he just told him to go. Philip like Abraham many centuries before arose and went not knowing where he was going. The only thing Philip knew was that God had a plan for him and he had no choice but to obey, so he arose and went.

            If Philip had been like some of us he might have balked on this divine directive. He could have said, "There must be some mistake. Why should I leave a great ministry here in Samaria and go to a place that the angel calls a desert place?” At Samaria the multitudes gave heed to Philip with one accord concerning the things that he preached. Many that had palsy and that were lame were healed and from some he had cast out demons and they came out crying with a loud voice. Philip had a message that made the Devil holler. Most of us today do not want to disturb the Devil, by all means do not make him holler. Not only that but when they saw the power of God as it worked through the preaching of Philip the divine record says there was much joy in the city. However we are told when the Lord told him to go he arose and went.

            At a certain point on his journey he saw an Ethiopian riding in a chariot reading aloud from the prophet Isaiah. We might wonder at this point why God would be so interested in this particular man. There may have been many reasons, but one thing that Jesus said helps us understand is something that Jesus said in the sermon on the mount; Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. It seems from our experience when a person is trying to find God’s will and hungers and thirsts for it, God will send somebody to them with the answers.  

            At this point the Spirit said unto Philip, "Go near and join thyself to this chariot." Philip ran to him and heard him reading and asked him if he understood what it was that he read. The Ethiopian said he needed help and invited Philip to come aboard and sit with him. Philip did. The scripture that the Ethiopian was reading was the following.

            He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth: In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: His generation who shall declare? For His life is taken from the earth.

            At this point Philip opened his mouth from this text preached unto him Jesus. It says he opened his mouth. To say he opened his mouth seems like and unnecessary statement. Philip was not a ventriloquist so how could he talk without opening his mouth. There are a lot of Christians who go week after week and never open their mouth to anybody about the Lord. They may open their mouth as wide as they can get it and holler, "Touch down," or "That ball is outta here," but their mouth is shut up tighter than a clam when it comes to opening their mouth and saying something about the Lord, His word, or His church. So Philip opened his mouth and from this scripture preached unto him Jesus. Now if he preached unto him Jesus, what did he say about Jesus? Ladies and Gentlemen, if Philip stuck to his text the following gives us an idea of the contents of Philip’s sermon to the Ethiopian Eunuch as he preached about Jesus.


            He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. This Ethiopian had been to Jerusalem to worship so he knew something of Jewish special days. Philip on the basis of telling the Ethiopian about Jesus being led as a sheep to the slaughter must have mentioned the original Passover. While the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians their delivery came to be known at that time as the Passover. A lamb for each house was slain and the instruction was given to strike the blood of that lamb on the two side posts and the upper doorpost.

             Now the Lord told Moses that He would pass through the land at night and slay the first born of every family in the land of Egypt. For the Israelites God said, “The blood shall be for you a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood I will pass over you.” The word Passover means to skip over or to leap over.

            In Philip’s sermon he must have told the Ethiopian at that point how John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to his audience, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Jesus is our sacrifice for sins and Paul would say to the Corinthians: “Christ our Passover hath been sacrificed.” As Jesus and His Apostles prepared to observe the Last Passover Supper, He told them: “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” That would be the last official Passover feast; then as they were eating He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which reminds the Christian, that Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

Paul tells us in Second Thessalonians: “And to you who are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His might.”  On that day the Christian will have nothing to fear. The Lord will see the blood of the slain Lamb of God on the doorpost of the church of Christ and He will skip over you, He will leap over you, He will pass over you. Philip must have preached this message to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he preached unto him Jesus.


Here is something else Philip must have said as he preached unto him Jesus. He told him how Jesus willingly gave His life for us. As a Lamb before his shearer is dumb so He opened not His mouth. He made no effort to save himself. On one occasion He said, "No one taketh My life from Me." I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.”  In the Garden of Gethsemane the Lord told Peter to put up again his sword into its place. They that take the sword shall die by the sword. Or thinkest thou that I could not beseech My Father and He would even now send Me more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the scripture be fulfilled and thus it must be.  

People argue and debate as to who killed Jesus. It is a useless question. The bottom line as to who killed Jesus can be settled here and now and forever. Who killed Jesus? Ed Bousman killed Jesus. Paul said so. He said Christ died for our sins and I am in that bunch and share just as much of the blame as the chief priests of the Jews, Pilate the Roman governor, or king Herod.

Van Rembrandt a famous Dutch painter is regarded as one of the greatest. Sometimes in his paintings he would paint the face of a member of his family on someone in the painting. One time he painted a picture of the crucifixion of Jesus, and he painted his own face on the man who was driving the nails through the hands of Jesus. People who saw the painting looked at it and said,  “Rembrandt crucified Jesus.”

I do not know what kind of a picture you can conjure on the canvas of your imagination about the crucifixion of Jesus, but any picture that leaves you out of the picture is a false impression, because the weight of all our sins was on the hand that held the hammer that drove the nails through the hands of Jesus and riveted Him to those timbers of torture that we call the cross. Christ died for our sins. As Paul would say later on, “Him who knew no sin was made to be sin that we might become the righteousness through Him.”  As a Lamb before His shearer is dumb so He opened not His mouth. This without question is part of Philip’s sermon to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he preached unto him Jesus.


Then as Philip preached unto him Jesus he must have said something about the humiliation of Jesus. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away. Just look at the change in the culture of heaven as opposed to the culture on earth.  Paul tells us that Jesus considered not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, even unto death, yea the death of the cross

When Jesus was in heaven angels waited on Him continually and hastened to do His bidding. They acclaimed Him as the Lord of glory. They cried out in adoration, Unto Him that sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever. Hear again the host of heaven as they offer up their joyous acclaim, “Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory and blessing.”  

Think of it Jesus left this environment to come to this world to receive the utmost humiliation. They spit in the face of the One whom angels praise. The One who in heaven is called the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was crowned with a crown of thorns. The One John the Apostle saw wearing a white robe was crucified naked. The hands that were placed on the eyes of the blind and gave sight, hands that were laid on the leper and made clean; these hands were nailed to the cross. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away. This is what Philip must have preached to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he preached unto him Jesus.


The next point Philip made in his sermon to the Ethiopian was His generation who shall declare? We can declare the generation of most people we know by telling how many children they have; their generation is their seed. Now what is the generation of Jesus? He told the parable one time of the man who sowed good seed in His field. He identified the sower of the seed as the Son of man. The generation of Jesus is the converts to the body of Christ, who shall declare His generation? Philip no doubt told how the Lord started with the twelve Apostles, then he told about the day of Pentecost when 3000 were added, then their number came to be about 5000 and then the number was multiplied. His generation who shall declare? From our standpoint the number boggles the mind. We can read in Revelation where John saw a vision of a great multitude, which no man could number, out of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, “Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  His seed could not be numbered. His generation who shall declare? Philip must have spoken of all this to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he preached unto him Jesus.

As Philip and the eunuch rode along in the chariot they came to a certain water and the Eunuch asked Philip, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” There was nothing in the text that mentioned such a thing. Since the Ethiopian brought up the question Philip must have mentioned it in his sermon. He must have preached baptism.


 So what did Philip say about the matter of baptizing? We need to remember that what happened here was in the eighth chapter of Acts, so what Philip said must have been said by other inspired men before and up to this time. Where did the eunuch get the idea that the baptizing was by immersion? Since Philip preached unto him Jesus he must have told about the baptism of Jesus, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee unto the Jordan unto John to be baptized of him.” And John would have hindered Him saying, “I have need to be baptized of thee and cometh Thou unto me?” Jesus said, "Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." Then He suffereth Him and Jesus when He was baptized went up straightway from the water and lo the heavens were opened unto Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending out of heaven as a dove and coming upon Him and lo a voice out of heaven saying this is My beloved Son in whom I AM well pleased.  Philip must have said this because he preached unto the Ethiopian Jesus and that was the way Jesus was baptized.

Since the Ethiopian asked such a question about baptism and wanted to do it Philip must have told him how it was commanded. He must have told the Ethiopian about the Great Commission in Matthew where Jesus said: "All power hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you and lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world.”  And then for further emphasis he must have told the Ethiopian a further reason for the command by reciting what Jesus said in the gospel according to Mark. Jesus said in the sixteenth chapter: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved he that believeth not shall be damned.” Philip must have told the Ethiopian about this since he preached unto him Jesus.

Then Philip must have continued on in this teaching as he told how the church started on the day of Pentecost. He told how Peter preached that first gospel sermon and when the assembly realized they had killed the Lord who came to save them they asked what they must do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then Philip must have told the Ethiopian of his own experience at Samaria how the Samaritans, when they believed him preaching good tidings concerning the name of God and the name of Jesus Christ were baptized both men and women.

 The importance of the ordinance of baptism must have been pointed out by Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch finally as he mentioned how Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." I know that Philip must have mentioned all these things and more to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he preached unto him Jesus. 


And now let me conclude. How about that question of the Ethiopian Eunuch? Behold here is water what doth hinder me from being baptized? Philip said, "If thou belivest thou mayest." And he said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”  And he commanded the chariot to stand still and they went down into the water both Philip and the Eunuch and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip and the eunuch saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing. So it is written, so let it be done.