“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, Jesus says. That word guide in the original is the same word we see in Philip’s conversation with the Ethiopian eunuch, the court official of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. As the court official rode by in his chariot the Holy Spirit prompted Philip to engage him. As Philip approached he heard the eunuch reading aloud from scripture, Isaiah chapter 53 to be specific.
So Philip asked the eunuch, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”
And the eunuch replied, “How can I unless someone guides me? Hop up into my chariot and sit with me.”
You might want to read Isaiah 53 right now. (Just click on the link or read it from the Notes section at the bottom of this post.) It’s one of the most mind blowing Old Testament prophecies there is. It’s so descriptive of Jesus’ life, it reads as though it was written after Jesus’ death and resurrection, as historical documentation. It just seems impossible that it could have been written before. But in the late 1940s, archaeologists discovered a copy of the book of Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and this copy was dated hundreds of years before the life of Christ. Most scholars put the date of authorship around 700 years before Jesus’ arrival. (Jesus in the Old Testament (Part 5): Isaiah 53, Acts 8:26-40)
Jesus himself spoke of how all of scripture testifies about him:
Speaking of the Old Testament scriptures, Jesus said, “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me…” (John 5:39-40)
And He said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” (John 5:45-46)
And He also said, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
The story from the book of Acts about how the Holy Spirit, through Philip, guided the Ethiopian eunuch through Isaiah 53 is just one example from the book of Acts of how we see the Holy Spirit working as Jesus said he would.
Sometimes the book of Acts is called the “Acts of the Apostles.”
But it might also be called the “Acts of the Holy Spirit.”
(In our next post from the Gospel of John, we’ll look at how the trinity is found in three verses, and how Jesus describes something of the nature of the relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.