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Acts 8:26-40

  • What role did the bible have in bringing you to Jesus? Are there any particular verses or books of the bible that convinced you to follow Jesus?

  • Have you ever talked about (or read) the bible with a non-Christian friend? What was their reaction to it?

Read Acts 8:26-40 [1]

As you read the story, put yourself in Philip's shoes. After each section, share with the group what you think Philip would have been thinking and feeling at each moment. (Sections are verses 26-29, 30-33, 34-35, 36-38, 39-40)

  • What can you see God doing to make this encounter occur?

  • What do you imagine Philip said, to connect the quote from Isaiah 53 and the good news about Jesus?

If you like, you can break off into pairs for five minutes and re-enact the imagined scene of dialogue between Philip and the Eunuch.

  • Why do you think the eunuch wanted to be immediately baptised? What do you think baptism meant to him? Is this the way that we expect people to respond to Jesus in our context? Why/why not?

  • How would you explain the death and resurrection of Jesus to someone who knows almost nothing about it? Would you use any verses from the bible in your explanation?

Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12

  • We can probably assume that Philip discussed more than two verses of Isaiah's Servant song. As you read it, what do you imagine Philip would have said about each stanza?

  • How does the suffering of Jesus make the forgiveness of God possible?

  • How do we speak about the suffering of Jesus with those who don't yet know His good news? What would you say if someone asked you, "Why did Jesus have to die?"

Spend some time praying for opportunities this week to share the story of Jesus with people who don't know much about him yet. Pray that God would orchestrate these opportunities like he did with Philip, and that the Holy Spirit would give us the right words to say in these moments.

[1] I. Howard Marshall explains just who the "Ethiopian eunuch" was:

The man came from the country now known as Sudan (rather than modern Ethiopia) where he was a eunuch employed in the court service of the queen mother, who was known by the hereditary title of Candace and was the effective ruler of the country. The term eunuch normally indicates a person who has been castrated; such people were forbidden entry to the temple by the Jewish law (Deut. 23:1), although Isaiah 56:3–8 offered them a better deal in the future. If the man was a eunuch in this sense, he could not have been a proselyte... The high position of the official as the royal treasurer is emphasized: this was no insignificant convert! He had come to Jerusalem in order to worship there; he was, therefore, at least a ‘God-fearer’. Even if he could not be a full proselyte, he served God to the best of his ability. He had probably been in Jerusalem on the occasion of one of the pilgrim festivals and was now on his way home, riding, as befitted his status, in a chariot and beguiling the journey by reading from a scroll containing part of the Jewish Scriptures... The chariot would have been in fact an ox-drawn wagon and would not have moved at much more than walking pace, so that it would cause no difficulty for Philip to run alongside it and call out to the occupant. As he approached the chariot Philip heard the voice of somebody reading – whether of a slave reading aloud to his master or of the eunuch himself.


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