Acts 8:36-40
Acts 8:36 (KJB)
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Hinder - Prevents
As they had continued on their trip, the Ethiopian Eunuch saw they were coming upon a “certain water” which could have been a lake, pool, or spring. Since he had become saved and knew about baptism, either through the teachings he may have heard in Jerusalem from the Apostles or from Philip, he wanted to be baptized in water as a testimony to his salvation. The Eunuch poses a question that since the water is there what would prevent or hinder him from becoming baptized? It is not sure whether he asked this question as a theological question or a question of the physical act itself?
Acts 8:37 (KJB)
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Philip responds to that question in a theological manner. He tells him that if he truly believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Philip is basically asking him about his testimony. An unbeliever should not be baptized in water because it would only be a meaningless ritual which has no affect upon any spiritual condition. Philip wanted to know if the Eunuch believed and if he did, then he was qualified to be baptized in water to testify of his salvation. Acts 8:37 is another testimony that Jesus is the Son of God. By the Ethiopian Eunuch using the word “is” (present tense in Greek) instead of “was” he was stating a fact that Jesus is alive. His resurrection was doubted by many but here the Scripture is stating that He is alive plus it is another scriptural testimony of Jesus being the Son of God, a title of Divinity.
Acts 8:38 (KJB)
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Then when Philip was satisfied that the Eunuch had understood who Jesus was and had become saved, they then stopped the chariot and had gone down into the water to be baptized. The Eunuch was immersed in the water as an outward testimony to the inward transformation which took place. Since water baptism is a symbol, it must symbolize a reality and that reality is salvation. If a person is not saved, then their water baptism is a deception, deceiving not only the one being baptized but the testimony would be false to all those who observed it.
Acts 8:39 (KJB)
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Caught away - Seize, carry off, take or snatch away - Same word used to describe the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (caught up)
As soon as they both came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord had snatched Philip away because his ministry to the Eunuch was now completed. What Philip taught him in their time together would now be conveyed to others as the Holy Spirit would now indwell the Eunuch and he would become a source of evangelism in Ethiopia. This would have been a miracle as Philip was snatched away, like a type of rapture. This would not be out of the question because it was before the Bible was completed. The Eunuch would see him no more but that was not a point of sadness, rather it was a point of rejoicing because the Eunuch had become saved and was now on his way back to the Queen and the court and I am sure evangelism would start there and would spread throughout the country and surrounding area.
Acts 8:40 (KJB)
But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
This verse contains a great principle for those who want to go to the mission field or those who believe they are called to preach. Philip was in the town of Azotus which was due west of Jerusalem. He had begun to travel north until he came to the town of Caesarea which would have been about 55 miles (88 KM) north of Azotus. If you notice, he did not wait until he got to Caesarea before he started preaching, instead he had preached in all the cities on the west coast of Israel until he reached his destination. The principle here is that if you believe you are called to preach, do not wait until you get to your desired destination, but as you go toward that destination, be a walking, talking testimony and proclaim the Gospel wherever you go. It will be a great precursor to your desired ministry. Many Christians today do not think they have a ministry when they have one right before them. If they do ministry right where they live or work, they would be completing the Great Commission as if they were sent as missionaries to their homes or place of work.