In many respects, the story of the Ethiopian is one of my favorites. It, along with the Samaritan woman, reflects the love and grace of God.
Yesterday, in Amos 9:7, Cushite was used as a disparaging term toward the Israelites infidelity to God. A Cushite is what the Old Testament calls…an Ethiopian. So, the people group used to disparage the Israelites…can have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Then there is another issue. The Ethiopian was a eunuch. Per the Law, a eunuch was not permitted in the Temple. Granted, tradition had redefined things a bit.
One thing often disappears in this is the reality that one cannot reproduce biologically when one is a eunuch. However, as a Christian one still produces children…spiritual ones (think Paul and Timothy).
The Ethiopian was already on the spiritual journey, for he was going to worship at the Temple. It means that he was a worshiping as a Jew. He was, then, almost there.
The Ethiopian is symbolic of just how outside of God’s “family” a person can be, and still be called into relationship. We could dismiss the so-called minor issues of the Ethiopian, however, the Law helped to define what was holy for the Jews.
So, this isn’t a minor thing. Instead, it shows that while God is holy and separate, God still makes a way for those whose hearts are open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. That’s pretty open. God’s grace is wide open.
- Have you ever felt so separated from God, that God would never take you back?
- How would you explain this grace to a person who does not understand holiness?
Jesus, you are the reason for this grace that we have been given. Thank you for what you did for us on the cross. Amen.