Philip (1) is a disciple of Jesus, whereas Philip (3) is a deacon in the early church, chosen with seven others to manage their growing community. In addition to helping run the church in Jerusalem, Philip is also an evangelist.
When persecution hits the church in Jerusalem and the people scatter to avoid arrest or execution, Philip heads to Samaria to tell them about Jesus. He performs supernatural acts, which gets their attention. He casts out evil spirits and heals people in the city. There’s a revival, and joy fills the people.
In the middle of this, God sends an angel to Philip. “Leave all this and head south into the desert.” What? Great things are happening in Samaria, so it makes no sense to send Philip into the desert where there are no people to tell about Jesus. But Philip obeys.
There he sees an important official from Ethiopia, heading home in his chariot. The Holy Spirit tells Philip to approach the man, which he does. The man is reading the writings of the prophet Isaiah.
“Do you understand it?” Philip asks.
Though the man is trying to make sense of it, he can’t. He invites Philip to join him in his chariot. Philip hops up. The passage is a prophecy about Jesus. Philip explains everything. When they come to some water, the man asks Philip to baptize him.
Philip does, and then God’s spirit whisks Philip away and brings him to Azotus.
The next time we see Philip, it’s in Caesarea. Paul and his team stay at Philip’s home. In this passage we learn one more thing about Philip. He has four daughters who have the gift of prophecy. No doubt, Philip’s godly influence on his girls help them grow in their faith and develop this gift.
What can we do to have a godly impact on our children and those within our influence?
Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.