I love this section of Scripture! It is about a man named Philip, also known as Philip the evangelist. He was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit and he served Jesus well in his time. He is also a man who had incredible miracles happen to him and through him by the power of the Holy Spirit during his ministry!
This Philip is not the same man as Philip the Apostle who Jesus called in John 1:43. Philip the Apostle was the one who answered Jesus regarding the bread for 5,000 people in John 6:5-7. Philip the Apostle is also the man who asked Jesus to “show us the Father” in John 14:8. He is mentioned only once in the Book of Acts in 1:13 after Jesus ascended into Heaven. The other Philip spoken of in the rest of Acts is Philip the evangelist.
Philip the evangelist was one of the seven men appointed by the Twelve Apostles in Acts 6:5 to serve and minister in Jerusalem.
“Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
After the great persecution of the Christians broke out in Jerusalem, Philip went to Samaria and started a church there. The Lord used him in mighty ways and many people were healed and saved!
“..On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
Yeah, that brother was filled with the Holy Spirit big time! After the Lord used him to minister in Samaria, he had another experience of the Holy Spirit that is incredible! Many people of that time walked or traveled by horse or chariot. Philip, however, had a different kind of transportation!
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road–that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
I love how Philip responds to the Holy Spirit in the next verse! I pray that all of us who believe in Jesus will be this in tune to the Spirit and this excited to obey!
“Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”
I love that! Philip didn’t walk, he ran! So, what was the eunuch reading and how did Philip help him?
“The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before the
shearer is silent,
so he did not open his
In his humiliation he was
deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his
For his life was taken
from the earth.”
That passage is from Isaiah 53:7-8, and the eunuch did not understand that the Prophet Isaiah was prophesying about Jesus. Good thing the Lord sent Philip to explain it, and praise the Lord that what happened next was recorded in the Bible for eternity!
“The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus Christ.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”
That’s right! The Holy Spirit picked Philip up, he disappeared before the eunuch’s eyes, and then he was transported by the Spirit to the town of Azotus, which was about 20 miles away! What did Philip do after this amazing event? He just kept on preaching the good news about Jesus Christ! I love it! That is the power of the Holy Spirit folks!
We see Philip mentioned again at the end of Acts where he is still living in Caesarea. The Apostle Paul and his companions visit Philip for a few days. Philip had four daughters by that time, and guess what? All of his daughters were filled with the Holy Spirit too and all four had the gift of prophecy!
“Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.”
Philip was a man who lived in the power of the Holy Spirit! He experienced incredible power and miracles, and he served God faithfully. That same power is still available to all who believe in Jesus today! Has the Holy Spirit ever picked me up and transported me to another town? No, but I know God can do it! He cast out a demon through me by the power of the Holy Spirit, so He can do that too! If He needed me to be somewhere quickly for a purpose of His, then He would transport me in the Spirit just like Philip! I believe that with all my heart!
Grace and peace to you all!