Theological reflection on the sufferings of Jesus may well begin with that scene in the Acts of the Apostles where Philip overhears the pilgrim from Ethiopia reading the Book of Isaiah. The passage that the pilgrim read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;/ And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,/ So he opened not his mouth./ In his humiliation his justice was taken away,/ And who will declare his generation?/ For his life is taken from the earth.”
The reader inquires of Philip, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then, says the Sacred Text, “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”
It is surely instructive to observe that Philip, in preaching the gospel to the Ethiopian inquirer, begins with the sufferings of Jesus, the Word of the Cross. He speaks of the Lord as the Lamb of God, humiliated and slain for the sins of the world. Perhaps we may say that Philip, in his ministry to this man, was determined to know nothing but Jesus and him crucified. To this powerful man from the royal court of Ethiopia, Philip preached the weakness of God, which is stronger than men. With this cultured visitor from afar, he shared the foolishness of God, which is wiser than men.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives