Acts 8:29

Looking down into some chamber in Texas Capitol.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” Acts 8:29

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous words referred to the Ethiopian eunuch sitting in his chariot and reading Isaiah the prophet. Now, it says, “Then the Spirit said to Philip.”

Although it doesn’t say, “the Holy Spirit,” that should be inferred. What is surely the same Spirit will also be referred to in verse 8:39 and is there called “the Spirit of the Lord.” It is the same term used by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18. In whatever manner the Spirit spoke to him, it was clearly understandable, saying, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

The word translated as “overtake” means to join to. It doesn’t just mean “walk alongside,” but actually adhere to it. The Greek word itself, kollaó, comes from the word kólla, glue. Hence, it is to attach to, either literally or figuratively. In this case, he is to come alongside his carriage and grab onto it, or maybe even ask to ride along in it.

Understanding the scenario quite well, Cambridge says, “No doubt this royal treasurer had a numerous retinue, and a single traveller on a desert road would be doing what was natural in attaching himself to a train of people who were journeying in the same direction. Philip would therefore be able to approach and hear what was read without being deemed an intruder.”

Life application: To this day, and on any given day, there are innumerable claims of people being told by God to do this or do that. People claim divine revelation on hundreds of videos posted to social media every day. But these things must always be considered suspect.

First, unless the person is proclaiming the truth about God, the claim must be dismissed immediately. God is not going to validate the religious belief of a person who is not proclaiming Jesus. The innumerable visions and prophecies that fall outside of a Jesus-directed message are lies.

Next, a person (Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) who claims to have had a vision of Jesus telling him that he must come to Jesus contradicts the Bible on several levels, but most importantly God has given the church the responsibility to share this message via the word He has given. The conversion of Paul is an exception, and it is recorded in Scripture for us to know what happened and why. To assume that God would go around His word to make exceptions negates the purpose of the word He has given us.

Why people cannot find the word of God sufficient for their lives, doctrine, and instruction is hard to figure? God has carefully and meticulously detailed things in His word to show us how His word was compiled, why things happened the way they did, and to show us the fulfillment of the necessary types, patterns, and pictures that are introduced into it.

For us to look for something more actually diminishes what the Lord has done in the giving of His word. Let us not do such things. If you come across someone claiming a word from the Lord, a vision, or a prophecy on a website or video, keep going. You are wasting time that could be spent much better on something else. The Bible presents to us all we need to know concerning how things came about to give us the word. May it be considered sufficient to us!

Lord God, thank You for the precious word You have given to lead us in our lives and to keep us from error. It will have importance to us when we pick it up and learn it. And so, help us to do just that. Help us to make learning this precious treasure a true priority in our lives. Amen.