36-39 As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, “Here’s water. Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn’t mind. He had what he’d come for and went on down the road as happy as he could be. 40 Philip showed up in Azotus and continued north, preaching the Message in all the villages along that route until he arrived at Caesarea.
Acts 8:36-40 MSG
Luke is such a creative story teller! What a fantastic narrative! Chariots and men running beside them. Philip talking to angels and being swept off by the Spirit of God - high drama. But also something else quite lovely. “Why can’t I be baptized?” asks the eunuch. This is a question of such hope! Frankly, there were a ton of reasons why someone might consider eunuch unfit for time, attention or baptism.
He was not an Israelite. He was a foreigner - Ethiopian. He was castrated in a world that values a family that has many arrows in their quiver - as the old saying goes. He just wasn’t the guy that God’s chosen people would have noticed. He didn’t seem like the kind of person God would choose. Time and again, God says, “I choose all people.”
I hear stories every week from people who do not feel chosen. I witness folks who behave in ways that indicates to me that they are primed to feel rejected. Often it appears to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy for people who seem pre-wired in every situation to feel left out and alone and seem to hone in on any perceived slight as a reason to confirm their belief that they are not “good enough.” The eunuch asks a question that implies a state of mind - I do belong. I can be part of. I will get baptized! Today - what can you believe in about yourself in light of who God is and how he provides?