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Devotion for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Our focus for today is the reading from Acts, which is the account of Philip and the Ethiopian. We take our devotion from Growing in Christ Adult Bible Study.

Scripture Readings

Acts 8:26–40
Psalm 150
1 John 4:1–21
John 15:1–8

Devotional Reading

“Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter” (Acts 8:32; Isaiah 53:7)—this short verse in the Scriptures dumbfounded an Ethiopian eunuch in charge of many treasures. Such a man of worldly power, prestige, and wisdom is helpless to understand by his own reason or strength the prophet Isaiah’s meaning. Here the strong has been made weak and the wise a fool as it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart” (1 Corinthians 1:19). . . .

Led by the Holy Spirit, Philip approached the Ethiopian eunuch to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name to “all nations” (Luke 24:47). Observing that the Ethiopian did not understand what he was reading, Philip expounded, beginning with this verse [Isaiah 53:7–8]. He explained that everything written about Jesus in the Law of Moses (the Pentateuch), the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled, how the Christ must suffer and die and on the third day rise again (see also Luke 24:44, 46).

Philip catechized the Ethiopian eunuch, teaching him to observe everything that Jesus had commanded, teaching him the doctrine of the Christian faith. He baptized the Ethiopian in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). In this way, the Lord came to the Ethiopian man to reveal Himself to one who could not by his own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him. Rather, this man was called by the Holy Spirit through the means of grace.

In the same way also, our Lord comes to us in our weakness, for we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him. Through the means of grace—the preaching of God’s Word and the administration of His Sacraments—the Holy Spirit has called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified us, keeping us with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

Reflect on the Church Year

Devotional reading is from Growing in Christ Adult Bible Study, Spring 2011, page 98 © 2007, 2008, 2011 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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