The Ethiopian Eunuch

Michael Wilcock

READ : Acts 8:26-39

The eunuch . . . went on his way rejoicing. (v. 39)

What does “deep South” mean to you? Mississippi, perhaps? When I retired and moved from the north of England to its south coast, a mere 300 miles, to judge by the mystified reaction of some people you might have thought I was emigrating to Patagonia.

Our final “anonym” (yes, it’s in the dictionary!) is the Ethiopian eunuch. He had set out to “go . . . south” from Jerusalem when he was waylaid by Philip and introduced to Jesus by him. He reminds me of earlier characters in this series. The monarch he serves is as anonymous as he is (as some translations rightly say, she is “the Candace”—not a name but a title). She is like Solomon’s famous visitor in another way too: not only nameless, but also queen of a far-off southern land.

But there is a thought-provoking difference. The queen of Sheba “came from the ends of the earth,” says Jesus, “to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.” The Candace’s minister “went on his way rejoicing.” God’s invitation to the world to come and meet him among his people was his classic Old Testament policy. The New Testament is more concerned with his command to his people to go and take his message to the world.

PRAYER

Whether by their coming to us, or by our going to them, Lord, let your gospel be clearly heard.