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 Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The Ethiopian said, “Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: Himself or some other?” This is probably one the most significant questions that the Ethiopian could have asked, because it hints at his own personal experience.
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 now can count His kin since He’s been taken from the earth? (Isaiah 53:7,8)
It was customary in ancient times to take young slave boys and castrate them in order that they might fulfill a specific function in the workings of the kingdom. Because they were unable form intimate relationships, they were considered to be more trustworthy. Becoming a eunuch must have been a traumatic experience. They were still slaves, were still treated as property, but eunuchs were placed lower still in the social hierarchy. Even in the Jewish religious setting eunuchs would’ve been excluded from the temple by the restriction of Deuteronomy 23:1. The history of eunuchs and the terrible ways in which they were treated is often overlooked when we talk about them in church or in Bible study. Take a moment to imagine the sheer pain and suffering that this man must have endured throughout his life.
I’m not sure in which season of life you find yourself in today—what experiences you have suffered through, or how you have been estranged from your family, friends, or community. But there is a tremendous message of inclusion found in the story of God’s pursuit of the Ethiopian. An angel of the Lord moved Phillip to find this Ethiopian, to spend time with him, and to give him the message about a man who also suffered rejection, pain, alienation, and ridicule. This man, Jesus, came to give His life so that everyone can find belonging, peace, and joy in the Kingdom of Heaven. Through His resurrection, there is hope in the promise of new life! May you also find belonging, peace, joy, and hope in your walk with Jesus today.
Recalibrate: How can you be more aware of the offer that Jesus extends to you, even in your brokenness, to draw near to Him?
Respond: Pray for healing and redemption.
Research: Read Isaiah 56:1-8 (NLT).
Talk to your child about the importance of including others. Pray that they will make everyone feel loved and included.
Have you ever been left out of a game? It doesn’t feel good at all. Sometimes people get left out because they are too young or not friends with the right people. Does that seem fair? Next time you are playing a game, look around and make sure that no one gets left out!
In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest boards a school bus and everyone says, “Seat’s taken! Can’t sit here!” Forrest finds himself alone. One girl reaches out and allows him to sit. This sparks a friendship that lasts a lifetime. Have you ever been rejected? Have you ever been excluded? Chances are, if you are human, the answer is yes. How can you be like the girl who offered Forrest a seat? How can you be more intentional about including others?