Philip and the eunuch

Date: Friday, June 21

ScriptureActs 8:26-35

Verse: Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:29-30)

Listening appears to be a lost art. We are not good at it, for the most part. Many of us struggle to find a friend who will actually listen to us. Far too often, in conversation, the other is formulating a response rather than working to hear what we are saying. Sometimes they are trying to come up with a solution before understanding the problem. Other times they are preparing to give the other side of an argument before actually knowing my side. The news media doesn’t foster communication, neither does social media. As a society we appear to be far better at talking than we do at listening. 

Yet one of the great attributes of God is he hears of us when we call to him. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be hearers as well.

When the Spirit nudged Philip to go over to that chariot, Philip listened. He started, not with his own agenda for preaching, but where the Ethiopian man was. He listened as the man struggled to understand a passage from Isaiah, then offered his commentary based on his love for Jesus. Philip didn’t just tell the Gospel story out of the blue. He shared how his faith informed that passage of scripture, and how it had changed his life.

Too often our evangelism has deteriorated into much talk with very little listening. The tradition of street preaching and door-to-door proclamation is about the Christian’s agenda and often has little to do with where the other is. If we want to more effectively share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people around us, we need to get much better at listening to people’s context – their confusion, pain, anger, reason, life-situation, and more. After we have listened, really listened, we can then share the Gospel in a way that allows Jesus to come alongside them to guide them in a new path toward healing and resurrection.

Prayer: Give me ears to truly hear others around me. Amen. 

Action: Seek not to formulate responses to people when you are in conversation. Ask questions of clarification rather than giving advice or arguing a point. You may want to take a look at this summary of “Techniques for Active Listening.” 

Respond: How does listening help us communicate? How do you see it helping your share the Gospel? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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One Response to Philip and the eunuch

  1. Mark Hatfield says:

    I do consulting. Too many consultants want to fill the air with their knowledge. Really good consultants listen and aren’t afraid of silence or pregnant pauses. Frequently the real problem, issue or concern, is revealed after a period of silence.

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