One day, an angel told Philip to travel on a road that went into the
desert. On his way, Philip met an important Ethiopian man who had
been to Jerusalem to worship God. This man was reading the words of
the old prophets, but didn't know what they meant.
"How can I understand this unless someone explains it to me?" asked
the Ethiopian. Philip told the man all about Jesus, and how He had
come just like the prophets had said He would.
The Ethiopian was moved by Philip's words about Jesus. It was clear
that God had sent Philip to tell the Ethiopian this good news.
"Please," said the Ethiopian, pointing to a water hole. "Let's stop
right here, and you can baptize me." So Philip baptized his new
friend. After that, the Ethiopian went on his was rejoicing. And
God took Philip on to tell many, many others about Jesus.
The Gospel Goes to Samaria
Philip, like Stephen was a Greek-speaking Jew who was selected in Acts 6:5 to help the apostles. Jerusalem ha been the main place that the gospel had been preached, until now when we see that the Lod's followers were kicked out of town. Perhaps Jesus' opponents thought they would stop the spread of the gospel, but this was not the case. In fact, teh opposite happened and fulfilled what Jesus said his followers should do: Take the gospel to all nations.
Philip went to the Samaritans. These people were half-Jewish and half-Gentile. In the Old Testament, Samaritans were disliked becaus ethey were a mixed race. But here we see them receiving the good news about Jesus joyfully.
As believers today, it is easy for us to look at the world from an "us versus them" perspective. We need to remember that Jesus' command to take the good news about him to all nations still applies to us.