and as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “see, here is water! what prevents me from being baptized?” and he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. [acts 8:36-38]
see! here is water!
baptism is above all, an act of obedience. Jesus commands his followers to preach the good news of the gospel and to baptize those who believe. as we often hear at matthias lot, there is nothing special about the water that we are immersed in – the water itself holds no power. water is merely water. the power comes from the transformation that the Holy Spirit works within us.
here we see philip baptize a man in the most convenient water available. there was no need to look for special water in a special place to be baptized in a special way. the power is not in the water, the power is in what is being portrayed, what is happening in the life of the person being baptized.
what prevents me?
this eunuch hears the good news of Jesus and wants to give his life to him right there. no further requirements are necessary. he accepted Jesus as his messiah, accepted the church as his home, and accepted a new life. this is symbolized by his figuratively being ‘buried with Christ’ and raised to a new, beautiful, redeemed life. this man heard the good news and it took root to the point that he was ready to jump in. philip agreed that a change had occurred as a result of hearing of Christ through the prophet isaiah, and baptized him right there on the side of the road.
may we never underestimate the speed at which God may change a live forever. May we instead be always ready to speak the truth to all times, and ready to accept the new members God may bring into our faith family.
~ jason soroski