This was the question the Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip, one of the seven appointed to assist the 12 disciples (Acts 6:2,4). Stephen who was killed was also one of them.

“An angel of the Lord” (8:26) caused Philip to go up and meet with this Ethiopian as he was returning from worshipping in Jerusalem” (verse 28) which shows he was a genuine God-fearing man. As he travelled, he was reading God’s word and puzzling over a person he was reading about in the book of Isaiah who was “like a lamb before its shearer is silent … in his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth” (verses 32,33).

He asks Philip, “Does the prophet say this about himself or about someone else?” (verse 34). Philip explains, “beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus”. The whole world has now been given the whole of the word of God – a Bible of 66 books, in just about every language. Remember what Jesus said; “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48).

People in the ancient world were challenged by the faith of Noah in the huge ark he and his sons built over many years! Does the word of God really challenge us? It did when it was first printed! Let us read some of it every day and our understanding will grow and – like the Eunuch, we will start to think and to ask, “What prevents me from being baptised?” (verse 37). If we are already baptised and have experienced the feeling he did after his baptism in “going on his way rejoicing” (verse 39) we will find less and less to rejoice about in much of what we do in this world.

We will relate to words in Peter’s first letter. He said that genuine believers “by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now, for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and honour and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:5-7).