Gospel, Belief, Baptism
What does “mission work” look like? I often get asked that, as someone who serves as a missionary. In this passage the entire “mission endeavor” is boiled down to four verses. The eunuch is reading God’s Word, which is the source of all sound knowledge. Without God’s Word, mission work is just do-goodism or self-helpism. The eunuch asks someone to explain the Word. Philip preaches to him in the biblical sense. To preach is not to speak to someone in a raised tone of voice, but to explain the Scriptures. To preach the Scriptures is to explain what any given text has to do with the Good News, that in Christ all sin is forgiven. That forgiveness is given to us in baptism.
Having heard this good news, the Holy Spirit brings the eunuch to faith. Right away, he desires to be baptized. He wants what Jesus accomplished for the world at the cross to be promised to him personally, in water. And so another branch is grafted into the True Vine that is grounded in the God who is Eternal Life.
The Church often makes her mission so much more complicated than it needs to be. But at its heart, mission is simply sharing God’s Word, showing how that Word is all about the Good News of Jesus, and bringing people to faith in him and the gift of the water of baptism.
Heavenly Father, speak through me that those seeking knowledge of your Word might receive your gift of faith and baptism. Amen.