Read Acts 8:26-35
There are times when our journey does not always make sense. In this age of GPS-guided travel, we can gain a fake sense of certainty in regards to our route. Having recently moved to a new community, GPS has been an important aid in my navigation. However, I have already discovered that Google Maps does not always provide the most ideal route for arriving at a destination. More than once I have said to Google (like anyone is actually listening), “Why did you take me this way instead of…”
Philip had been called by God to go on a journey. Like many calling stories in the Bible, God does not give a lot of details about this travel plan. While Philip is traveling, God’s GPS announces a route redirect. Philip takes the road he is directed to which leads him to encounter an Ethiopian eunuch. This encounter provides Philip with an opportunity to connect the Hebrew prophet Isaiah’s words to Jesus Christ. He is able to share the good news about Christ with the eunuch and the eunuch begins a journey of relationship with Jesus.
Sometimes we may be given a call by the Lord to go on a journey. We are asked to go with limited details at best. During our travels we may be redirected and that direction may, or may not, make sense to us. The key is to trust our God GPS. God knows the correct route and what we will encounter along the way. There may be an opportunity which is missed if we do not follow. Our Lord is more accurate in giving us direction than our trusty Google Maps. Take the journey. You could be surprised what the Lord has planned along the way.
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.John 12:20-21 (NIV)
Have you ever had the privilege to see a celebrity person in a close setting? Maybe you were part of a reception line. Even better, maybe you had a conversation with them and even had a picture taken. Most of us have few, if any, opportunities like were just described. Many celebrity individuals have such busy schedules and numerous demands that they are unable to spend time with the average person. People like the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, and the President of the United States have to have individuals who manage all the requests for an audience with them. The requests are many and the time is limited.
Today’s passage presents a time when a group of Greeks desired an audience with Jesus. They had to go to one of the inner twelve to ask to see Jesus. It is probable that this occurred many times after Jesus became known throughout the region. Apparently, Philip was not sure about going to Jesus with the request alone so he co-opted his brother, Andrew. We are told they make Jesus aware but we are not told if the request is granted or not. Jesus instead is recorded as discussing his death and what is necessary to follow him. The request just sits there.
Like the group of Greeks, we also would like to see Jesus. One of the challenges of our Christian faith is not being able to physically see or audibly hear the One who we follow. Yet we can have our request met if we realize that Jesus is a part of those around us. As the line from a praise song says, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you.” (Open the Eyes of My Heart, Paul Baloche) We need the Lord to open us to seeing and hearing him in those around us. We have been granted an audience with the Lord through the lives of one another.