Baptismal water in itself doesn’t offer salvation. But if you’ve been baptized, led someone to experience it, or witnessed a person’s baptism, it’s hard not to notice the power of that moment. Making or witnessing a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ is a memorable and weighty experience.
The Ethiopian eunuch is the one who points out the water to Philip. He has either seen a baptism or heard of this practice. It seems he is so moved by Philip’s testimony that he wants to share in this profession of faith, saying, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” (v. 36).
A faithful follower of Jesus at that time might have given numerous responses to the Ethiopian eunuch’s question. He is not allowed to be baptized because he comes from another country, and he has been castrated. In short, he is not “one of us.” But Philip does not respond as his contemporaries would have expected. In verse 38, Philip leads this man to the water, proclaiming to all that this Ethiopian is loved by God and belongs to his Creator. Philip answers the eunuch’s question through his actions, indicating that absolutely nothing prevents him from being baptized.
The same water that Philip baptizes this man in is the same water we search for today. We proclaim our faith when we enter the water and follow Jesus’ example. The Ethiopian eunuch’s question is ours as well. What prevents me from being baptized? Absolutely nothing. Thanks be to God!
What do you remember about your baptism or what memories do you have of someone else’s? What significance do these memories hold for you? How do they affect your faith in God?
Thank you, God, that nothing prevents me from finding you and being accepted by you. Help me to remember my baptism and boldly share my love for you with others. Amen.