Friday, June 8, 2012

Acts Chapter 8, verses 25 through 40

Lots of reading in this lesson, but I will not post another lesson for about a week, so you have plenty of time.

 vv. 25-35       How does God prepare others for us to speak with them? How does God prepare us to speak with them? (Consider, Psalm 119:99, Romans 14-17). Since God speaks to all His children who are born through baptism, how does God speak to you?

Write it down on a sheet of paper.

Along with Stephen, Philip was one of the community assigned by the apostles to ‘serve tables’ (see Acts 6:1-3). We’ve already looked at Stephen’s knowledge of Scripture. Now we see an example of Philip’s comfort level with Scripture (8:29-35). Now take a look at Luke 1:46-55. In those 10 verses Mary quotes or alludes to OT Scripture no less than eight times (compare also 1 Samuel 2:1-10).  It seems the early church was full of men and women well-versed in OT Scripture. They were not familiar with those texts BECAUSE they were Saints, they were knowledgeable BEFORE they became Saints. What might be an application for you and me?

The eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53, a test written several centuries before Jesus’ birth. Take a moment to read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Why does the prophet Isaiah indicate Jesus died? What does St. Paul say about that in Galatians 1:3-4 and St. Peter in 1 Peter 1:13-19? What does the Book of Hebrews state about the case in Hebrews 2:14-18?

The Book of Wisdom, one of the deutero-canonical books in Catholic Bibles, was written about a hundred years before Christ. Read Wisdom 2:11-24. Compare this section to Matthew 27:39-43 and Luke 23:33-35.

vv. 36-40  Notice the eunuch’s response to the news about Jesus spoken by Philip. Tradition tells us the eunuch brought the message of Christ to his own country and evangelized his nation. Conversion changes people.

v. 39   Philip is now ‘snatched away.’  This is a supernatural event, likely similar to John 6:17-21 (especially verse 21) and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 with 1 Thess 4:13-17.

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