Acts 8: 26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,so he did not open his mouth.33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.Who can speak of his descendants?For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37 ]38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 8:26-39 | NIV
Several years ago, our pastor gave a sermon in the above passage. The points of his message were that we are called not only to be disciples of Jesus but to make disciples of Jesus and help to explain what we know to people who don’t know… not that we are anything special by what we know, or that we know everything, but to be open to being used by God to shine His Light on a dark world.
Later that afternoon, I got a text that simply said, “you are my Phillip”
What a humbling accolade. I was awestruck that anyone could feel that way about me, and I was honored and humbled at the same time. The awesome responsibility that comes with someone looking up to you weighs heavily, as I have many, many faults and fissures. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life. I have found, though, in both parenting and mentoring, it’s best to be honest and transparent about my shortcomings which creates trust, and an element of learning together that builds relationships. It is in the muck of relationships that hearts are won or lost. I am thankful to have continued that connected relationship for we have taught each other many things over the past few years.
It is important, too, to have our own Phillip to help guide and mentor us, even as we guide and mentor others. I have a Phillip (actually several if I’m honest) and reach out to them for advice from time to time.
Who is your Phillip? If you don’t know, keep your heart and mind open for them and ask God to show you. Find a Phillip who can help you navigate life’s toughest terrains, and be willing to be a Phillips to someone who needs you.
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