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Philip And The Ethiopian

When Stephen was stoned to death a great persecution broke out against
the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered
throughout Judea and Samaria. Those who were scattered went in different
directions telling the good news about Jesus.

Philip went down to the city of Samaria, where he told the people about
Jesus, the Christ. And the crowds, when they saw the miracles he
performed, paid attention to what he said. Many who could not walk or
were lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city. Both the men
and women who believed Philip, as he told the good news about the
Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus, were baptized.

When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had believed
God's message, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they came,
prayed that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not
yet come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of
the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Spirit.

When the apostles had told the people about Jesus and preached the word
of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem; and as they went, they told
the good news in many villages of the Samaritans. But an angel of the
Lord said to Philip, "Rise, and go south along the desert road from
Jerusalem to Gaza." As he went on his way he met an Ethiopian who had
charge of the treasures of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. He had
gone to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. As the Ethiopian
sat in his chariot reading from the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit said to
Philip, "Go up and speak to the man in the chariot." As Philip ran up
and heard him reading from the prophet Isaiah, he asked, "Do you
understand what you are reading?" "How can I," said the Ethiopian,
"unless there is some one to tell me what it means?" So he begged Philip
to come up and sit beside him.

Now the passage of scripture that he was reading was this:

"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
And as a lamb is dumb before the shearer,
So he opened not his mouth."

The Ethiopian said to Philip, "I beg of you, tell me of whom is the
prophet speaking? Of himself or of some one else?" Then Philip, taking
this verse as his text, told him the good news about Jesus. As they went
along, they came to some water, and the Ethiopian said, "Here is water.
What prevents my being baptized?" So he ordered the chariot to stop, and
both went down into the water, and Philip baptized the man. After they
had come up from the water, the Spirit of the Lord sent Philip on his
way, and the Ethiopian did not see him again, but went away happy. But
Philip told the good news in every town until he reached Caesarea.

Next: Peter And The Roman Officer

Previous: Stephen The First Christian Mart

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