Acts 8: “The Eunuch answered Philip and said, ‘Please…'” Eunuch is an Ethiopian eunuch, he was not a Jew, and he was there on his way from Jerusalem to Gaza. And he sat with Philip in the cart, and Philip only had one little scroll, and that was the only book he could share with that Eunuch, and that was the Book of Isaiah.
Believe it or not, the Old Testament is important. A man, who was not even a Jew, was led to Christ through one single book, not even the whole Old Testament.
“And then he says, ‘Please tell me of whom does the Prophet say this, of himself or of someone else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, he preached Jesus to him. And they went along the road, they came to some water, and the Eunuch said, ‘Look, water. What prevents me from being baptized?’ And so, Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, with all your heart, you may.'”
My son, before his military service, he turned 18, and we thought, “That’s the time for him to be baptized.” So, he came to our congregation, and we don’t have a senior pastor, we have elders, and he sat there with all the elders, like eight of them, and he was scared. And I didn’t join him because it’s supposed to be him and them. And they asked him, “Ariel, do you believe with all of your heart?” And he said… Do you know what he said? He said, “I’m 90% sure,” and he was not baptized.
Three and a half years later, he’s done with his military service. He had to deal with a lot of issues. Went to a discipleship program in the U.K. for six weeks, he came back, and he said, “Dad, now I’m sure,” and he was baptized.
If you believe with all of your heart, not 90%, then you shall. You may. “And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,’ and he ordered the chariot to stop. And they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the Eunuch, and he baptized him.”
What a wonderful picture we have of the transformative and soul-saving power of the word of God rightly divided! A Jewish man, Phillip, well versed in scripture and filled with faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5), is ready to reveal Christ to a Gentile beginning with what many have dubbed; The Forbidden Chapter, Isaiah 53. This dispels any notion that the Old Testament is irrelevant in the New Testament age. It also decimates the view that there are conflicting messages between the two covenants as some propose. An angry God ready to strike people dead in the Old Testament and a more peaceful and passive Jesus is presented in the New, they claim.
The truth is, both Testaments are about Jesus, both Testaments are blood covenants, (Remember, the word testament means covenant), both covenants required the substitutionary shedding of innocent blood.
Hebrews 10:1-10 KJV – “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Every sacrifice of the Old Covenant offered year after year, highlighted the insufficiency of animal blood for the permanent removal of the wages of sin. Yet, they pointed to the coming of one who would establish a second blood covenant that we might be sanctified through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
If Jesus opened the eyes of two dejected Jews on the road to Emmaus through the Old Testament and Phillip opens the eyes of a Gentile eunuch to the person of Jesus Christ through the Old Testament then, that tells us that the Old Testament is not “just for the Jews” and the New “just for the Gentiles.” Yes, the church is predominantly Gentile today, but not exclusively. The early church was predominately Jewish, but not exclusively. All the books of the New Testament were written by Jews except for Luke and Acts. (Colossians 4:10-13 tells us Luke was “not of the circumcision, he was a Gentile)
The point is this, Jewish Christians have a responsibility to reach the Gentiles, and Gentile Christians have a responsibility to reach the Jews. That means that Jew and Gentile Christians need to know the beauty of the interwoven relationship of both blood covenants.
Acts 20:26-27 KJV – “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
There is a myriad of people today who are “pretty sure” that there is something to the Bibles narrative and message. Some may even be 90% sure. But remember Phillips response to the Eunuchs request to be baptized when he said;
Acts 8:37 KJV – “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
We are going to encounter people who need Jesus every day; some will be Jews, and others will be Gentiles. We know that Satan hates both groups, but we also know he has been trying to kill the Jews since their days in Egypt. So what tactic has he employed today? He has convinced many in the church that the Old Testament is irrelevant in the New Testament age, which is the only way you’re going to be able to point a Jew to Jesus.
Jesus commissioned us to go to the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and in order to be innocent of the blood of all men, we need to know and teach the whole counsel of God. Yes, we are all one in Christ, but our objective is winning people to Christ so they can become one in Christ with us.
Sometimes we’ll need to be ready with the Roman’s Road and other times with Isaiah 53 and still other times with both and more.
People are hungry for answers today in the midst of this pandemic, and we have the answer they need the most, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the world. Tell someone about Him today!
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.