Ahhhhhh… coffee at Starbucks this morning. Beautiful day. Philip just came to mind. Philip was one of the Twelve Apostles (Mark 3:18). But there was also a Philip in the book of Acts that was one of the Seven appointed by the Apostles to perform special duties (Acts 6:5). There are a couple of stories in the New Testament book of Acts about how Philip tries his hand at baptizing but just can’t seem to get it right. Here goes.
Sometimes called Philip the Evangelist, he traveled to Samaria where he preached the message of the messiah (Acts 8:5). He was able to convert large crowds and they were impressed by his miracles of healing and releasing demons from the possessed. Philip was apparently so persuasive that he converted Simon the magician who had control over the town prior to Philip’s arrival. The converts were immediately baptized by Philip (Acts 8:12).
When the Apostles heard how successful Philip was with the Samaritans, they sent two of the group, Peter and John, to follow up on his work. When they arrived they found that Philip had baptized them in Jesus’ name but no one had received the Holy Spirit. Holy Cow! The apostles immediately laid hands on the baptized and the believers received the Spirit (Acts 8:14-17). Maybe it was something in the water or maybe Philip wasn’t paying attention during his training. A rookie mistake.
Later on Philip travels from Jerusalem to Gaza and on the road meets an Ethiopian Eunuch. Philip, the evangelist that he is, tells him the gospel of Jesus and the Eunuch sees the river and decides right then and there to get baptized. Philip and the Eunuch jumps down into the water and Philip baptizes him. As Philip was bringing the Eunuch out of the water, SHAZAM! – Philip disappears into thin air. The Eunuch never sees Philip again and resumes his journey filled with joy (Acts 8:36-40).
But, where in the world was Philip? Well, the book of Acts says he reappears in a community called Azotus and carries on with his travels, preaching the gospel to others, like nothing happened out of the ordinary. You gotta wonder if Philip ever gets the baptizing thing straight. The author of Acts doesn’t say. Next thing you know, he’ll be transporting entire crowds to another community. I wonder if he ever did any time travel?
Another incredible story from the Bible. Read your Bibles! Time for another cup, friends.