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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: John 10:11–18 (ESV)

By Administrator

May 3, 2024

An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. 33In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” 34And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36And 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?” 38And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39And 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. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Not desiring to see any sinner perish, the Lord sent Philip, to a foreigner from Ethiopia in a desolate region. The Lord gave Philip the confidence to ask the Ethiopian, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (30). We all have our comfort zones. The thought of stepping outside of it exposes our weakness. Jesus breaks down our sinful fears and our failures of self-centeredness. Our Savior promises that the Holy Spirit will give us courage and clarity of words to say. Christ promises to bring others to Himself.

Philip’s teaching of all that Jesus did by His suffering and death on the cross and His resurrection for all people bore fruit. The Holy Spirit directed the man to Baptism. This Ethiopian in all his royal glory humbled himself to become a child of God by repentance and faith in Jesus. Christ’s Easter victory belonged to Philip, and he passed it to the Ethiopian eunuch who said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (36). “When they came up out to the water” Philip was no longer present, but the man was not alone. He was blessed to be joined to the Body of Christ, the Church. The Eunuch went “on his way rejoicing” (39) because his life was renewed by God’s Word which gave him Jesus.

You and I have that same joy at work in our Baptism. Through God’s Word and the Sacraments, the Holy Spirit brings sinners to repentance and belief in Jesus. Holy Baptism is the chief blessing, through God’s Word in and with the water we are forever connected to Jesus. All of this is only possible through those who brought us to Jesus by teaching His Word of salvation. What was true for Philip teaching the Ethiopian in his day, it is true today; the Baptized bring others to Baptism. Yet, it all comes from Jesus. He brought life out of His death, blessing out of His burden, and hope out of His cross. Our fruitful witness is alive by the faithfulness of Jesus.

May He who began a good work in you, bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Amen. (cf. Philippians 1:6)

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM
Reverend Steven Zandstra