The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are companion books. They reference each other and tell the complete story of Jesus and the birth of the Church. So finding similarities in them is not surprising. When Philip proclaims the good news of Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:35), he is following the example of Jesus in today’s passage at the end of Luke’s Gospel.
After Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance to his disciples, Jesus is still teaching, pointing the way towards God’s extravagant love that is available to everyone. Knowing he will soon ascend, Jesus is passing along this mission of love to his followers. The work that Jesus begins is to be carried to all nations through his disciples, through the first ones, and through you and me.
When we read Scripture, and particularly the Gospels, it can be tempting to read the texts primarily as a way to gain information about past events. But we can also read the Bible as a living testimony that has power to affect us any time that we encounter God through its pages. I’m familiar with the first way of reading Scripture, but I strive to read for the purpose of transformation. God is not static and our encounters with the Gospel of Jesus should have a unique impact on us whenever they occur. Before Jesus leaves, he opened their minds to understand the scriptures (v. 45). This work of Jesus’ is ongoing. Jesus continually opens our minds to the Scriptures and to the ways of God every day. The disciples’ story in Luke is our story also. Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts is an invitation to us as well. We are Jesus’ disciples, empowered to share what we know with the world.
How did you first encounter the Gospel of Jesus? What did you understand about it then? How has your understanding grown since?
God, thank you for opening up my mind to understand you and your Scripture more fully. Help me continue to seek you in all that I do. Amen.