Later God's angel spoke to Philip: "At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza."
He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians.
He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit told Philip, "Climb into the chariot."
Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, "Do you understand what you're reading?"
He answered, "How can I without some help?" and invited Philip into the chariot with him.
The passage he was reading was this: As a sheep led to slaughter, and quiet as a lamb being sheared, He was silent, saying nothing.
He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial. But who now can count his kin since he's been taken from the earth?
The eunuch said, "Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?"
Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, "Here's water. Why can't I be baptized?"
He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn't mind. He had what he'd come for and went on down the road as happy as he could be.
Philip showed up in Azotus and continued north, preaching the Message in all the villages along that route until he arrived at Caesarea.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)