And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand you what you read?…
A hint as to —
I. CASUAL PERUSAL OF THE BIBLE. When a man employs his occasional leisure in endeavouring to master a subject we have no need to question his interest in it. The study of the Bible in a railway carriage is a course which any Christian would be glad to pursue if he could do it unostentatiously. Travellers like the eunuch are not numerous. Men prefer the novel. But the grand lesson is the use of passing opportunities for following up what we have learned of the Lord, and fitting us to hear more of Him.
II. THE EXERCISE OF THOUGHT WHICH THE BIBLE DEMANDS. It cannot be "understood" without fixing the mind on its statements, arid trying to perceive what they mean. Many truths are perfectly clear, but others are so recorded as if God were aiming to make us search, pray, watch, and be humble. And so with the study of nature. We cannot understand it by mere gazing.
III. THE INSTRUCTORS THE SPIRIT WILL PROVIDE FOR THE THOUGHTFUL BIBLE STUDENT. The Spirit moved Philip. To warrant the expectation of spiritual help two conditions here illustrated must be fulfilled.
1. The eunuch was reading the Scriptures for himself. He was not taking the account from others, but was perusing the very words which "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
2. He was conscious that help was needed. So help came in this unexpected way. It is not that teachers are few, but that our eyes are dull. The best helps, teachers, commentaries, etc., are useless without the Spirit of God.
IV. THE GREAT PURPOSE OF THE SPIRIT THAT OF LEADING READERS OF THE BIBLE TO CHRIST. The written Word is to tell of the living Word, and would never have been written but for that.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?