Would You Please Explain?

Adam Stout

READ : Acts 8:26-40

Philip . . . asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (vv. 30-31)

Following the risen Christ can be a wild ride. By this point, the first Christians must have learned two things: be prepared, and expect the unexpected.

Take Philip, for example. An angel appears to him and sends him out on foot to the southern highway. He spots a foreign VIP (the head of the treasury of the Ethiopians) riding in a chariot, reading Scripture.

Philip asks politely, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” The powerful official says, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” He invites Philip to share his ride, and Philip explains how Jesus fulfills Scripture. Then Philip baptizes the first member of the church in Ethiopia (a church that exists to this day). The story ends with God whisking Philip away to the next town (v. 39).

Philip’s friend Peter has this to say: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). Our new life in Christ gives us reason for hope. But we cannot always know when the Holy Spirit will move us to share this hope with others. So we ask, “Lord, what would you have me do today?” Be prepared. And expect the unexpected.


Holy Spirit, keep us attentive to those who may be asking, “Can someone explain this to me?”