How did Philip witness to the Ethiopian man (Acts 8:26-40)? Being divinely guided to meet this man, how did Philip proceed? First, he began from where the man was. The man happened to be reading from Isaiah. So Philip knew the man was a Jewish believer. If he got to know him at all, which he must have or we would have no details in this account, he found out that he had traveled all the way from Ethiopia to worship in Jerusalem. So the man is a devout Jew. Philip starts the witnessing conversation with the passage from Isaiah that the man is reading. Second, from that starting point he led the conversation around to Jesus and the good news that the Messiah had come.
We don't know exactly how long this conversation lasted. Possibly it lasted several hours. Even so, it was a "quickie". In only one meeting, Philip brings the Ethiopian to belief and even baptizes him. Philip's divine appointment led another person into the kingdom in one day. No doubt the man went back to Ethiopia and told others what had happened. So the Gospel spread even further from that one encounter.
Earlier this year at my regular appointment with my hairdresser Thomas, I noticed that he had a large lump on his right wrist. I asked him what was wrong. He said it was a type of tendonitis and that it was so bad he was only cutting hair for two people a day. He had rescheduled all of his other customers with other hairdressers in the salon. He didn't know what was going to happen or how he would continue to support his family. His wrist was not getting significantly better with therapy. Knowing that Thomas is a believer in Jesus, when we finished I asked if I could pray for healing of his wrist. He took me into a small room in the salon and we prayed for a minute or two. Twice it felt like electricity passed between us. When I returned for my next appointment, Thomas's wrist was healed and he was back to cutting hair all day long.
This was not a divine appointment, but a regular appointment, used for divine purposes because I was able to step out in faith. I didn't know if Thomas would be healed, but I knew prayer wouldn't make it any worse! I met Thomas where he was - in need of healing. Jesus took it from there.
For reflection: Have I missed opportunities to meet people's need for God, for healing? What is holding me back?
Let us pray. Holy Spirit, I don't want to miss any more opportunities that you provide. I give you my fears of reaching out to others, of being rejected, of not knowing what to say. I don't want those fears any more.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.