Unit 28, Session 4: The Ethiopian Official Believed
This week, we continued our unit, The God who Empowers. This unit has an emphasis on how the Holy Spirit helps us, especially when it comes to sharing Jesus with others. This week our lesson focused on how the Holy Spirit empowered Phillip to help the Ethiopian official see that the Old Testament prophets were speaking about Jesus!
UNIT KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS:
- The Holy Spirit helps us.
- The Holy Spirit told Philip to tell the Ethiopian man about Jesus. <-- Main Point
- The Holy Spirit helps people believe the good news.
BIBLE STORY DETAILS: The believers in the early church faced intense persecution. After Stephen was killed, Jesus’ followers at the church in Jerusalem scattered; however, they did not stop talking about Jesus. They continued to share the good news. One man, Philip, took the gospel to Samaria. The crowds there listened and believed, and they had great joy.
In today’s Bible story, Philip was instructed by an angel of the Lord to go to a certain road in the desert. Philip obeyed. The Spirit led Philip to a chariot, where an Ethiopian official was reading the Scriptures from the prophet Isaiah. The Ethiopian man did not understand what he was reading, so Philip explained it to him.
The man was reading from the prophet Isaiah: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter … In His humiliation justice was denied Him. … For His life is taken from the earth” (Acts 8:32-33). The official wondered if Isaiah was speaking about himself or another person. Philip told the official that Isaiah’s words weren’t about Isaiah; they were about the Messiah—Jesus! The official believed in Jesus and was baptized.
Help your kids to consider the role of the Holy Spirit in this interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian official. Who was responsible for Philip’s going to the desert? Who helped Philip explain the Scriptures? Who changed the heart of the official so he would believe?
CHRIST CONNECTION: The Ethiopian official knew what the Old Testament prophets had said, but he did not understand that the prophets spoke about Jesus. The Holy Spirit led Philip to help the official understand the good news about Jesus: Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead, just like the Old Testament prophets said.
ACTIVITY IDEA: The Holy Spirit prompted Phillip to share the good news about Jesus. With your child, check out the missionaries that we support, who share the good news with people all over the world! Encourage your little one to do extra chores or host a bake sale to raise money for one our missionaries!
Want more ideas of how to use this information with your family during the week? Check out this blog post: Using the Gospel Project as a Family Devotional
NEXT WEEK: “Peter Visited Cornelius” (Acts 10)