Message: A Continued Triumphal Entry
Preacher: Tim Gillespie
Reflection: Kris de Bruin
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 8:26-40 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Luke is very specific about where the Ethiopian eunuch is at this point in the story. There were two Gazas—one which was destroyed in 93 BCE, and a new Gaza built in 57 BCE toward the south. This geography lesson serves to demonstrate that the Ethiopian was at a place where half of the known world’s traffic passed by. Location is important. Where do you find yourself geographically right now? Where are you in terms of your faith journey? Locales give us a sense of direction, and a sense of knowing where to go next. Remember that Luke is a historian; he seems to consider it important to highlight a few facts about this man. He is from Ethiopia, he is a eunuch, he is a court official to the Ethiopian queen, he had traveled to Jerusalem to worship, and he is traveling home. He is also lost in his reading of Scripture and is not given a name in the story.
I definitely relate to the feeling of having no idea what the Scripture’s implications are for me, or what the point sometimes is. However, in my line of work, I find it interesting to observe how many times we feel it is necessary to pretend that we know the answers to the questions arising from the passages we read. Perhaps we think that our identity is strengthened if we can prove to have some enlightened knowledge about a passage. Of course, our foolishness often finds us out. Instead, it seems much healthier for communities to confess to not knowing and allowing the Spirit of Jesus to teach us. Some of my friends and I recently discussed how there used to be a time when conversations arose from not knowing the answers. Today it’s quite the opposite. No conversation, rarely any exploration. Just cold hard answers that produce no curiosity and no engagement.
To satisfy the question on the Ethiopian’s heart, Phillip tells him that it is all about Jesus. I think if we can more often engage the "childlike" idea that Jesus is the answer, we will be far better off. In Jesus we find our purpose, our sense of direction, and our identity.
Recalibrate: How can we learn to let go of our “knowledge,” and be more curious about what Jesus has for us to find? How can we be more willing to engage in a conversation of exploration rather than in a factual diatribe?
Respond: Pray that your purpose, direction, and identity will be found in Jesus.
Research: Read chapter 10 of Steps to Christ, “A Knowledge of God.”
As a parent, your child might have already asked you “why?” 1 or 2 or 498,472,094 times (if not yet, they will!). Explain that sometimes you have questions too, and that some questions take longer than others to answer, but asking questions helps us grow!
Think of the hardest question ever. Ask your parents this question. Sometimes even parents don’t have answers to our questions. Do you know who does have all the answers? Jesus does. Thank Jesus today for not being afraid of our hard questions.
Sometimes in college my professors would intentionally give no answers in response to questions. This would greatly frustrate me! Do you have questions that haven’t been answered? You are not alone. Today, instead of searching only for answers, wrestle with the questions. Ask a few friends, your parents, a teacher, or your pastor. Sometimes answers aren’t found in the quick response, but in the long journeys with Jesus.