He Preached Unto Him Jesus

 

He Preached Unto Him Jesus

Acts 8:26–38 

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this,

 He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 

A number of people are being baptized today, they are being baptised because they have come to believe something that has changed their lives. No…even more than this, much more…they have come to believe something that has changed their ETERNITY.

It is not only life that will never be the same again, death too has lost its sting. In fact, Death itself is quite literally swallowed up in victory. Never again will any of them fear death, they simply have no cause to fear death anymore, again, quite on the contrary because death now ushers in eternity in heaven as opposed to eternity in hell.

All simply because they have believed with all their heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, just as this man of great authority did some two thousand years ago. Those who are being baptised today share in the same hope that that man had realized when he understood the Gospel, when he understood what the ‘preaching of Jesus’ meant. Like him, they are both saved and safe from judgement.

Now, this all happened because also, just like this eunuch of great authorityunder Candice queen of the Ethiopians, those who are being baptised today had someone who preached unto them Jesus

At some point in their lives, they heard of this man, they heard of Jesus Christ and who he is and what he had done, why he came, why de died and how he rose from the dead.

My friends, it has long been regarded as simply “THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD”, it changed the world as it was and the history of Jesus Christ and what he has done is irrefutable…in fact history itself has its dating system hinging upon the birth of Jesus Christ, your own birthday is identified in the light of HIS!

Writing about Christianity as the single most incredible impact on the western world, an agnostic writer who is not a Christian, but the name of Tom Holland in his recent book titled “Dominion: How the Christian revolution remade the world” writes;

Even in the twenty-first century, as the tide of Western dominance palpably retreats, assumptions bred of Europe’s ancestral faith continue to structure the way that the world organises itself. Whether in North Korea or in the command structures of jihadi terrorist cells, there are few so ideologically opposed to the West that they are not sometimes obliged to employ the international dating systemWhenever they do so, they are subliminally reminded of the claims made by Christianity about the birth of JesusTime itself has been Christianised.[1]

Dominion: How the Christian revolution remade the world

Yes, the entire world has been impacted in one way or the other by a man who would die the common death of a criminal some two thousand years ago in a somewhat backwater province of the Roman Empire, in the fertile crescent of the middle east.

And it spread because some “preached unto people Jesus”, and the people believed that Jesus Is the Son of God, and everything changed! The PEOPLE Changed, their eternity changed to the utmost degree.

Many years ago there was a scene in my home that was repeated, well I don’t know how often, but it was often. We would all be seated in the lounge watching a movie that became a favorite of the family, it was A Knights Tale with Heath Ledger.

There was a phrase in the Movie that became the underlying theme of the film, it began by the hope of the father when his son was a child, a dream that his father had that the boy might “change his stars”.

My friends there simply is no greater change of stars than when a man, woman or child believes the Gospel and is born again. This is the REAL CHANGE when the HEART believes the Gospel. 

Now, in as few words as I could do some justice, my desire this morning is simply to “Preach unto you Jesus”, and I will do so from the same text the Eunuch read two thousand years ago.

Turn to the Book of Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53:6–9 

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 

 

Jesus Bore Our Sins

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The book of Isaiah was already some 700 years old when this great man of Ethiopia was reading it. 

There was no printing press in those days, all copies of the book were “manuscripts”, all were written by hand. Only the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, were permitted by God to make such copies and they would do so with incredible precision and delicacy.

The book of Isaiah is not a small book. It contains 66 chapters and would have taken several months of work to pen to the precision required, and it would have come at great expense to this official. What a prize it must have been, to have received such a volume of work.

But while the official was evidently a great man, of great authority and of great wealth, it would take the guidance of an insignificant man in the eyes of the world, of no particular worldly authority, and so poor he was found walking, no horse, no carriage.

Yet the eunuch, perplexed at the passage that was before him, was humble enough to accept an opportunity to have it explained by Phillip the evangelist.

There are several things that I need to take for granted that we all understand. Something that is understood by everyone, especially that Ethiopian man two thousand years ago.

  1. We all die.
  2. Death is always imminent.
  3. All of us have iniquity.
  4. All know instinctively there is a judgment.

That final one might be disagreed with by many, and yet it is certainly assumed by the general fear of death we all had at some point in life. Some have had their fears relieved, and some have had their fears denied, yet a fear of death betrays the innate consciousness of judgement.

Nevertheless, we might not agree on the fourth, but none can deny the first three.

  1. We all die
  2. Death is always imminent
  3. All sin for which we should expect judgement.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all!

Notice that it is not some of our iniquity. The passage does not give a single hint to a limitation of our sins. 

And we can’t say that it only refers to the sins we have done in the past, ALL OUR SINS were yet future to when Christ died for them.

It’s all of our iniquity. Everything we have done, all that we have thought, all that is past and all that is potentially future, the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Notice also that there is not a limitation of who. Though the passage might have been thought as limited to the Jews, the New Testament tells us that because the Jews rejected their messiah, salvation has come to the gentiles;

11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles 

Rom 11:11

It was eve the logical conclusion of how to save the world.

Turn to;

Romans 5:18–19 

Referring first to Adam who had the first offence, when sin came into the world and death by sin.

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 

There is no limitation as to whom this text in Isaiah applies. 

If it were limited to the Jews, the Ethiopian eunuch himself would not have qualified. No, black or white, man or woman, skin colour does not limited, your gender does not limit you, nor you level of iniquity.

The only thing that qualifies you is that you are a sinner.

If you have no sin, Jesus did not die for you.

Jesus bore ALL the sins of sinners.

Jesus Silently Took Our Judgement

 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth

Hebrews 9:27 

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 

This is the part we generally don’t like to hear about. The negative aspect of our lives that comes with death. 

The natural accounting, the reckoning day, the time of history that we give an account to our maker.

So much do men fear this that they create schemes in the hope that they will escape it. 

They even become atheists in order to fool themselves into thinking that, in denying the reality of God, they can thereby deny any risk of accountability to God. 

In other words, they enter into a period of wishful thinking and create imaginary creatures that have ONLY EVER APPEARED AS the animated pictures of a book. 

Then they call these things “Theories” in the hope of gaining some respectability, 
they “ became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” Rom 1:21-22

Beloved, the fear of death has motivated men and women to deny that life has ANY consequences to contend with. Hearts are so far removed from God, that there is no fear of God before their eyes.

Turn to

Romans 3:10–18 

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The way of peace have they not known: Those being baptised today have found the way of peace, but those who reject God can never have peace, they heal and comfort themselves into believing there is no God and say “peace, peace when there is no peace” (Jer 8:11).

If you are one of these who have no fear of God, please consider that the denial that there is no judgement condemns your own hypocrisy

You condemn others for their own sins, you judge them for their wrong doing against you, and far too often you condemns others for doing the same thing you do.

In this you testify that there is no escape from God’s judgment of your sin against him.

Romans 2:3–6 

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

Notice that, in the midst of that difficult passage there is also hope;

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

There may be a good reason why Jesus stood silent before his accusers, he WAS STANDING IN OUR PLACE!

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth

That silence of Christ was on behalf of you and I and all those who will believe the Gospel.

Those however that remain condemned in judgement will themselves be silent before God.

Jesus Died On Our Behalf

 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

There is a reason why the history of the world pivots on the time of Christ. No matter how much this sin rent world still tries to deny Christ even by changing the dating references, history remains measured by the years before him and after him

We are today in the year of our Lord 2023 and the reference SHOULD remain as a PERPETUAL REMINDER that Jesus died for OUR TRANSGRESSIONS.

Isaiah 53:4–5 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peacewas upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

THIS IS THE INCREDIBLE NEWS PHILLIP would have explained to the great man of Ethiopia. 

This is that news that it is through HIS death that WE HAVE LIFE.

He hath borne OUR GRIEFS…carried OUR SORROWS, wounded for OUR TRANSGRESSIONS… bruised for OUR INIQUITIES, and : the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

NO WONDER HISTORY CAN’T BUT HELP REMEMBER HIM.

Every time a diary is opened.

Every time a contract is signed.

Every time a transaction is recorded.

Every time a login detail is registered

Every time the sun comes up

Every time a child is born

And every time a man dies

A date is affixed and that date is a perpetual if subliminal, reminder that Jesus DIED ON OUR BEHALF.

God will never suffer us to forget what Jesus has done, why he came, why he died, and why he rose again.

The logical conclusion therefore Paul made clear in 2 Cor 5:14, “that if one died for all, then were all dead

Indeed, all “were dead in trespasses and sins” Eph 2:1

Our Faith Claims His Testimony

Acts 8:36–37 

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See,here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 

Verse 37 is the testimony that gave the great man eternal life.

Verse 37 is a testimony that is deleted in modern versions of the Bible, if not in the text it certainly is in the footnotes.

  • Atheists desire to deny the existence of God to feel as if they can escape judgement.
  • Historians desire to deny the value of Christ by replacing the references that hinge on his life (BC/AD replaced by bce/ce).
  • Recalcitrant Bible Scholars want to deny the testimony that lays claim to eternal life by removing the confession of Christ.

My…. anyone would think it was a conspiracy!

But truth and reality are stubborn things.

The Ethiopian Eunuch laid claim in eternal life by believing the Gospel in his heart.

People turn their houses upside down to find the winning ticket to lay claim on a fortune in Tattslotto.

James Howells was an IT engineer and in his late twenties when he threw out his old computer hard drive in 2013. In 2021 he offered the equivalent of $100 million dollars to the local tip to recover his hard-drive. 

What they did not know was that James Howells was only the fifth node on the Bitcoin Network when it began, he mined Bitcoin for a single week on his laptop, and then turned it off because of the noise running it day and night. A year or so later he accidently threw out the hard drive. In it was 7,500 Bitcoins, at its peak was worth over half a Billion Dollars. 

But he needed the hard drive to claim it. To this day he is still fighting to have the tip dig it up among a tens of thousands of tons of debris.

What doth hinder me to be Baptised? …if thou beleivest with all thine heart…

THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED TO LAY CLAIM ON ETERNAL LIFE!!!

When the earthquake shook the prison, and the doors were opened the bands of the apostle Paul and Silas were loosed, a frightened prison guard was about to take his own life thinking that the prisoners had all escaped, but HOPE cried out to him saying;

do thyself no harm, for we are all here

Acts 16:29–31 

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 

Jesus is recorded in the Gospel of John saying;

John 3:16–18 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

BUT HE DOES NOT STOP AFFIRMING WHAT IT IS THAT LAYS CLAIM ON ETERNAL LIFE;

 1He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

There is ONLY one way to lay claim on eternal life!

Only one ticket that is needed to be free of judgement at death

Only one key that unlocks the forever fortune of ETERNITY, and that is faith. WILL YOU BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOU?

ARE YOU WILLING TO SCOUR THE HOUSE FOR THAT WINNING TICKET?

Will you dig through the debris of your own sinful life to see that you have need of forgiveness?

WILL YOU BELIEVE THE GOSPEL and lay claim on life eternal?

In this building today that are three groups of people;

There are those who are lost, who are not yet saved and whose imminent death will usher in an eternal nightmare.

There are those who claim to be Christians, but have yet to produce that faith that can lay claim on eternal life. They are not saved, but far worse, they do not know they are still damned.

Finally, there are those who have believed the Gospel in their heart and have a true claim on eternal life, people who have changed their stars. Some of whom are being baptised today.

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.

Today, there is no reason why every person in this building could not lay claim on eternal life, everyone here can “Change their stars”.

Why? Because “The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”


[1] Holland, Tom. Dominion (p. 12). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

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