Lessons from the Ethiopian eunuch

Human civilization came with packages of discoveries that were meant to ease hard labour and make life comfortable. One of these was the domestication of horses. Horses to our ancestors was a panacea for transportation problems. It became easy to move from one place to another faster and comfortably, at least by the then standards. Humans would go ahead to make chariots and coaches that proved to be paramount not just in normal transportation but in warfare too. The invention of the steam engine would diminish the use of chariots and coaches. Scientific inventions would gain traction with each passing time and now we ended up with vehicles, ships, airplanes and even rockets to take us to the moon. In warfare, we now boast of aircraft carriers, bombers, fighter, tanks, missiles, submarines, among others.

 

An extraordinary chariot

Alcestis, the daughter of King Pelias, was as beautiful as a floating snow shower. So dazzling was this Greek girl that countless suitors swarmed her father’s palace for her hand in marriage. Her beauty accounts spread far and beyond.  The fact that her father was a famous king of one of the city-states in ancient Greece made it possible for her fame to reverberate across the entire Greece. This made King Pelias put in place strict conditions for who would be her daughter’s husband. “No one shall have my daughter until he proves his worthiness as a son-in-law.” Pelias would say.

“If you want her, then you must come for her in a chariot drawn by a lion and a wild boar. If you come in any other way she shall not be your wife.” That is what Pelias would tell every young man who came around. He would then chase him out of his palace as he laughs. How could a mortal tie together a lion and a wild boar together in a chariot?

One of the admirers was king Admetus of Pherae, who happened to have an immortal – Apollo – as a servant. Apollo was forced to serve mortals as a punishment from Zeus. It was this same immortal servant who came to the rescue of King Admetus and helped him get the adoration of his life. How did it happen? Apollo hunted for the fierce beasts from the wild and tied them to a chariot. The perpetually ill-tempered beasts would try to fight each every so often. Apollo whipped them into losing their fierceness: They could fight no more. The chariot was now ready to be driven.

Admetus jumped on it as Apollo sat beside him holding the reins and a whip. King Pelias was shocked to see Admetus riding a chariot drawn by two fierce wild animals. He immediately gave out her daughter to the man who would also participate, together with another Greek mythological character named Jason, in the search for the Golden Fleece.

 

An extraordinary Coachman

One time Nasruddin took up a job as a coachman and he had to drive his boss to a notorious part of the town known for nefariousness.

“Keep your eyes open,” his employer advised him as he alighted from the coach at his end point. “This place is infested with thieves.”

Sometime later the man thought of checking on his new employee.

“Is everything all right? What are you doing now?” he yelled from a window of the house he had gone into.

“I’m sitting here wondering what happens to a man’s lap when he gets up,” the Nasruddin shouted back.

A little later the employer again shouted from the window, “What are you doing now?!”

“I’m wondering what happens to a fist when the fingers are unclenched,” shouted Nasruddin.

His employer was enthralled.

“My coachman is no ordinary fellow,” he boasted to his hosts. “He is a philosopher!”

Half an hour later he again poked his head out of the window and shouted, “What are you doing now?”

“I am wondering who stole the horses,” replied Nasruddin.

 

No ordinary rider

The Book of Acts offers an invaluable account of the Birth of the Church and its initial exploits. The various sublime tales in the Book helps us understand basic principles for Christian living. Acts 8:26-29 narrates a story about Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The eunuch was a high ranking official in Ethiopia as he was in charge of Candace’s treasury. Ethiopia was ruled by queens for a long period of time. A queen was known as Kandake. Some Biblical scholars believe Queen Sheba, somewhat a nebulous figure, came from Ethiopia.

The eunuch had travelled to Jerusalem to worship. We meet him on the way from Jerusalem. He is sitting on a chariot reading the Book of Isaiah, the prophet. The Scripture indicates that he could not crack what he was reading. Thus Phillip was presented with a golden opportunity to decrypt the message for him.

The eunuch did not hesitate to let Phillip sit beside him on the chariot.

So what do we learn from this account?

  1. Going to Jerusalem to worship is not enough. We need to understand why we go there. It is better when we recognize the essence of our worship.
  2. Reading Scriptures is good. It is better when we understand what we are reading. But the best thing is when we apply what we read.
  3. Worshipping God with genuineness moves Him to respond to our needs in a supernatural way. The Eunuch was worshipping God in truth but not in spirit. His love for true worship led him to spirit worship.
  4. There is always something we do not know, and it is wise to appreciate this fact. The earlier we come to this appreciation the fast we take concrete steps to learn and unlearn.
  5. God sends certain people into our lives to help us understand life and Kingdom principles. These people may either come from familiar or unfamiliar places. They may either be people we already know or complete strangers.
  6. Learn to ask for help. Do not be your own physician. Pride and ego can make us refuse to ask for help, or share our chariot with another person. Humility says, ‘I do not understand this, help me.’
  7. Take your time to help others. That advice you give can prove to be a turning point in their lives. Whatever God has equipped us with is not necessarily for our own consumption.
  8. Celebrate the gifts, talents, and abilities in others. Such kind of people is a gift from God to us. The gifts in Phillip were a blessing to the Eunuch.
  9. Some people are in your life for an appointed time, and for a specific task.

Friends let us not put child locks on our chariots: Someone helpful could be purposing to jump on it and ride with us.

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