Second episode in a six-episode series called Expanding the Table. In this episode, we explore the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. Philip was one of the chosen deacons along with Stephen to help the apostles with serving those in need and those marginalized by society. Along with Stephen, Philip also found that the spirit gave him new tasks such as preaching and healing in Jesus’ name. Guide by the Spirit, Philip went to places such as Samaria, Caesarea, and Gaza. It was on the old road to Gaza that Philip meets an Ethiopian eunuch. That meeting ended up with a baptism and the beginning of the fulfillment of Jesus’ command in Acts 1:8. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” After this encounter, the Holy Spirit moves Philip to Caesarea where we don’t hear of him again until he meets Paul in chapter 21. In these next chapters of the Book of Acts, humans belatedly discover what they did not expect, for what happens does not follow their plans or what they think God’s purpose should be.” The table of Jesus is ever-expanding.
In this six-week series, we look at how the followers of Jesus after his crucifixion went from disciples to apostles. Jesus instructed them that they were to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. But this commission wasn't as easy as they anticipated. Conflict arose with the growing numbers of followers. They had to figure out how to be a gathered community of Jesus across the world. They had to discover what it means to expand the table. Being a follower of Jesus no longer meant that you came from a certain people, place, or nation.