HE PREACHED JESUS
"The passage he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to slaughter, and quiet as a lamb being sheared, He was silent, saying nothing. He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial. But who can count His kin since He's been taken from the earth?" "The eunuch said, 'Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?' Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him." Acts 8:31-35 (The Message).
What a golden moment? Just Philip and the eunuch, riding along in an open chariot, far from anywhere, engrossed in the Scriptures together. Philip was in his element, unfazed by colour, culture, race and language differences, sharing the precious truth about Jesus. The eunuch's heart was wide open to receive the truth and respond with life-changing faith in the Master.
What did Philip say to the man? He preached Jesus. What does that mean? No doubt his theme was the prophecy of Isaiah and prophecy about Jesus in general. What better way to present Jesus to this man than that He was the focus and pinnacle of Old Testament prophecy!
It was Peter's theme on the Day of Pentecost. "These people are not drunk. This is the fulfilment of Joel's prophecy," he thundered to thousands of curious onlookers. It was Jesus' theme on resurrection day when He joined the grieving pair on their way home from Jerusalem. It was Matthew's theme when he unfolded the fascinating story of Messiah, tracing every stage of His life back to the words of the prophets so that his own people, the Jews, would be convinced that Jesus was their Messiah, the king of the Jews.
Why is this such a vital theme in our faith in Jesus as the Son of God? Prophecy is God's trump card. There is no religion on earth that can point to prophecy to authenticate its message. No one can stop people from making outrageous claims but to prove those claims to be true is another matter.
Such is the foolish gullibility of man that people swallow the most ridiculous beliefs ever spawned by human imagination without questioning their source or their authority. Can people in their right mind, for example, really believe that an image carved out of wood or stone has any power or influence in their lives? What about the random powers of nature? Do they have any intelligence or desire to affect human beings for their good?
All these false systems are an attempt to evade the truth that there is only one authentic and authoritative God. He gave us a detailed written record of His dealings with a people He chose to be His channel and through whom He came in person to show us what God is like. Even more amazing, He wrote the whole story before it happened so that we would know that it's true.
When Philip told the eunuch the story of Jesus, it was no thumb-suck for entertainment; it was the poignant story of a God who cares. How much does He care? He cared enough to humble Himself to the level of a human baby, to live the same struggle-filled lives as ours and to be so misunderstood because His people wouldn't consult the prophetic record, that they murdered Him as a lying imposter.
But the story didn't end there. The prophets wrote the end of the book too. He came back again, just as He said He would, because He was not the fraud they said He was. Who proved to be telling the truth? He did, because He is alive and still doing through His people what He did when He was here in the flesh.
So who and what are you believing; the nonsense passed down to you just because you forefathers believed it, or the truth because Jesus proved it by fulfilling it to the letter?
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