ODB: Do I Belong?

July 9, 2024

READ: Acts 8:29-39 

What can stand in the way of my being baptized? Acts 8:36

Actress Sally Field finally felt what we all long for. When she won a second Oscar in 1985, she exclaimed in her acceptance speech: “I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it. But this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”

An Ethiopian eunuch was also amazed by his acceptance. As a gentile and as a eunuch, he was denied entrance into the temple’s inner courts (see Ephesians 2:11-12; Deuteronomy 23:1). Yet he yearned to be included. Philip found him returning from another unsatisfying pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Acts 8:27).

The Ethiopian man was reading Isaiah, which promised that eunuchs who “hold fast to my covenant” will receive “within my temple and its walls a memorial and . . . an everlasting name” (Isaiah 56:4-5). How could this be? Then Philip “told him the good news about Jesus,” and the man responded, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (Acts 8:35-36).

He was asking, Am I really allowed in? Do I belong? Philip baptized him as a sign that Jesus had bulldozed every barrier (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus embraces—and unites—everyone who turns from sin and puts their trust in Him. The man “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). He finally and fully belonged.

— Mike Wittmer

Why do all believers in Jesus belong in His family? How might baptism impress this fact on your heart?

Dear Jesus, I belong with God and His family because I belong to You.

Source: Our Daily Bread