Jigsaw puzzles have never been my thing. I am
blind to the little clues so I empathize with the man reading the Bible
when Philip said to him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And
he replied, "How can I without someone to guide me?"
Yet he was a man who knew a thing or two. He was Treasurer to the Queen of Ethiopia, and had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He had heard about death by hanging on a tree and a resurrection and a new order of worship.
He wondered how the things he had heard about could relate to the Sacred Scriptures. In his carriage on the way home, he was reading his Bible much as some people read the newspaper in the train. He had all the pieces but the jigsaw did not come together.
I relate to that. From infancy I knew the Bible stories of Cain and Abel, of Noah, Elijah, Samuel, David and Goliath. I knew about Adam in the Garden of Eden but I did not see how he related to a Baby born in a manger; or what Joseph in Egypt had to do with a Son called out of Egypt.
I had lots of pieces but could not see how the clues fitted together.
Paul set out to make us expert at putting jigsaws together. He says, ‘OK everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Fine, you say, it is all done without me, I don’t need to be involved. God will not foul up the picture by getting the pieces wrong. I can go on my way and make something else of my life outside of all this.
"But," says Paul, (and it is about here you wince as the fist comes down on the lectern,) "how can they call on him without having faith in him? And how can they have faith without having heard of him? And how can they hear without someone to tell them?"
Exactly. And that is why Philip was impressed to speak to the Treasurer. In the Treasurer’s mind was a picture a few thousand years big. He perceived something that stretched from the beginning to eternity and he held all the pieces but he could not read the clues.
Now he welcomed Philip to clue him in. He felt all the excitement of seeing the picture come into focus.
And you, too, begin to realize the thrill of being the Treasurer of vast wealth, in the service of the Monarch. And on your way home.
But you need to call in on a few carriages before you get there.
References: Acts 8:25-39. Romans 10:13-17.
team writer with Just a Minute