Do You Understand?

I will never forget how committed she was to teaching me about whatever I would ask. 

Acts 8:26-40

Reference: Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. (Acts 8:30 NIV)

Explore: As a child there were many words I did not understand. Whenever I heard or read a word that I did not yet know I would ask my mother the meaning.

My mum was the only person I would ask. She knew many more words than I did, but I also knew that she wouldn’t tease me for not knowing things.

Every time I asked my mum a word she would always take a moment to think how to explain it. It is one thing to use a word correctly in a sentence, but a totally different thing to be able to explain its meaning simply enough for someone to understand.

If my mother was still unhappy with her explanation she would stop whatever she was doing and go to our huge dictionary. She would look up the word and then explain it all over again. I will never forget how committed she was to teaching me about whatever I would ask.

Application: The passage for today from Acts is all about learning the meaning. Phillip, one of the disciples, met an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the scriptures.

The first thing I noticed was that the eunuch didn’t understand everything that he was reading, but that didn’t stop him from exploring the scriptures. There are lots of things that are confusing for us in the Bible, but we can often use that as an excuse not to read it.

The next thing I noticed was that the eunuch was not afraid to ask someone for help. So often we are embarrassed to admit that we don’t know everything. Just like I knew I could always ask my mum the meaning of a word, we need to find wise people to come to so that we can explore the Bible together.

And the final thing I noticed was how quickly the eunuch was willing to put into action what he had just learned. It’s good to sit and contemplate deeper meanings, but the scripture is all about practical application.

This living and active Word is more about how we can put its meaning into action rather than understanding all the little intricacies of its meaning. Let’s not be proud of how much we understand, but be able to boast about how much we put into practice!

Prayer: Lord, while we don’t always understand every verse and chapter, we thank You for Your powerful Word. May we live it out in all that we do so that others may see the scriptures at work in our lives. Amen.

How do you learn more about God’s Word?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.