THE LONELY EUNUCH
"I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost
Outside the temple in Jerusalem were fountains and many courts. Old and young men to the one side and women and children on the other. In another place were gathered the gentiles and foreigners.
It was here the lonely eunuch stood dressed in his royal robes.
Everything about his life had made him different. As a young boy he had been taken by a man's hands and set aside to serve in the royal court as a eunuch. Never to bear children. Physical pain had been afflicted on him. Set aside to serve. Not by choice but by force. He was just a lamb. A child sacrificed. A boy thrown outside the gate
Now on this day, years later he stood as a young black man, a gentile, a eunuch from the royal house of Ethiopia. He had come a long treacherous journey of over two hundred miles that had taken months. He must have stood there and wondered. "Where do I belong?"
He came seeking God.
He was not allowed inside the temple because of the purity laws.
However he was able to purchase a rare and expensive scroll with the ancient writings of the prophet Isaiah.
The eunuch with no name departed with his entourage into his chariot and started back home.
The road was one less traveled, the lonely Gaza road out Jerusalem.
Dejected and disappointed, but with his treasure in his hand, he started to read the scroll.
Several miles away was a man of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, a miracle working Jew. He was leading a revival in Samaria. Men and woman were being healed of diseases as he was gifted as a healer. Unlike the eunuch with no name this man had a name. His name was Philip. In the middle of the buzz of excitement, the angel of the Lord spoke to him.
"Go south to the road -- the desert road --that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza. Go to the chariot and stay near to it."
Did Philip ask who was in the chariot?
Did he know the mystery of why this command was given to him?
He only heard the urgency of the command.
He ran with his robes flying around him and his heart pounding.
In his heart he held the key to the gate of heaven.
As he ran closer to the chariot he heard the voice of the eunuch reading from the scroll in his lap:
"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter
And as a lamb before the shearer is silent
So, he did not open his mouth
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice
Who can speak of his descendants
For his life was taken from the earth." -Isaiah 53
When the eunuch read these words, did they not burn within him?
He knew of humiliation.
He had lived with it all his life.
He would never have descendants.
As Philip approached the chariot the eunuch asked
"Who is the prophet talking about?"
Philip then told him the good news of the gospel
The man who had been excluded was now included.
He went home rejoicing.
He read on to read the promise.
"To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths
And chose what pleases me
And hold fast to my covenant
To them I will give sons and daughters
I will give them an everlasting name
Which will not be cut off." -Isaiah 56: 3-5
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses" -Hebrews 4:15
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In it's fullness over me. -Samuel Trevor Francis
*the story of the eunuch is based on Acts chapter 8