Sharing the Word – Acts 8:26-40
Why shouldn’t I be baptized?
We don’t know for sure, but it’s pretty likely that the Ethiopian Eunuch had previously encountered all sorts of barriers and hurdles which prevented him from worshiping God. As a Gentile who had probably been emasculated in order to serve a pagan queen, it’s very likely that he was relegated to the very outer courts of the Jerusalem Temple, and may have been considered an outcast by the people that he joined in order to worship God. (See Deut. 23:1)
So when I imagine him asking “why shouldn’t I be baptized?” I hear all sorts of fear and trembling in his voice. He may be expecting Philip to list all the reasons why not–his ethnicity, his sexuality, his occupation. He has probably considered the possibility that he will remain a second-class citizen in the Kingdom of God, forever outside the wall eavesdropping on the insiders. Instead, Philip climbs out of the chariot with him and baptizes him, right then and there.
The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that forgiveness of sins and entrance into the Kingdom is available to anyone who would confess and repent. Regardless of past, heritage, or social status, Jesus welcomes the outcast and the wanderer with open arms. Paul writes, “For he himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made the two (Jews & Gentiles) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” (Eph. 2:14)
Spread the blessed tidings all the world around.
Tell the joyful news wherever man is found:
“Whosoever will may come.”
– Philip P. Bliss