Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Ethiopian Eunuch

As Eva and I sat talking we saw a man sitting on a bench at the other end of the lake.

We walked closer and saw he was reading. Eva extended her arm as we passed him and offered him a "book mark". He smiled and she asked him what he was reading. The book had a title something like, 'What Catholics Believe.'

The man said, "I'm trying to find out what to believe. I have so many questions."

Eva smiled and sat down. "Well, I might have the answers you're looking for!" she said.

They began a great conversation. Mark was his name and he had a notebook with him. Eva took him through the Law and he began a list of The Commandments. I noticed he was putting numbers next to them, either a 1 or a 10. I asked him what the numbers were for.

"If I do well, then I get a 10, but if I do poorly then I receive a 1", he laughed.

"There is no sliding scale for this Mark. Either you have committed the offense or you have not. You have a '10' by Thou shalt not murder, have you ever hated anyone?", I asked him.

"Yes, I have." He answered.

"Well, Jesus said if you hate your brother without cause you are guilty of murder! How will you erase that?"

He put his pen down on the paper and looked up at me with a big smile. "Well..."

"You can't. You can't erase it Mark." I said.

The smile dropped from his face and he put the notebook aside. I knew Eva was praying for him.

"You know, I've been reading Isaiah and The Acts of the Apostles and Romans, but I have so many questions. I don't understand it all."

Well you probably know what I was thinking right at that moment, and just then he reached up and touched my arm...

"You are just like Phillip!!" he said excitedly.

It was so amazing to hear him saying that right as I was thinking about the Ethiopian eunuch!! "And you are just like the Ethiopian eunuch!!" I almost yelled it.

"Yes, I am!!"

I had prayed that morning that God would go before us to prepare hearts and here he was!

I explained to Mark how he had violated God's Law. He stopped at times to make notes.

"What must I do??" he asked.

I explained that he must let go of his old life. Just as Jesus had called the disciples, he was now calling Mark.

"You must die to yourself! Repent, pick up your cross and follow Jesus! This is not an easy invitation, Mark. Your life may be difficult. It will cost you everything."

He grew quiet.


"How do I do this?" he asked.

"Pray. Talk to God...."

"What stops you Mark?"

"Rules, regulations..." He said.

"Push that aside!" I said.

Eva's head was bowed, I was sitting on the sidewalk in front of Mark. He bowed his head and said, "Please allow me a moment to compose myself."

"Of course." I said as I bowed my head.

After a moment, Mark prayed a beautiful, simple prayer. When he raised his head up he was smiling broadly.

"I need more of these!". He said as he raised up a gospel tract.

We took him to the truck and loaded him up with books and literature. He kept asking us where we came from. He told us that he was only in town for 2 weeks from Zimbabwe, visiting his son.

"I can't believe this! I just came down this morning to try to find out what to believe. I was asking God what to believe."

As he walked away he asked us to continue to pray for him.

"I can't wait to tell my son, I am a new man!"






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