When Jesus Answered Africa

An imaginative but possible rendering of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40

The Ethiopian man left Jerusalem with mixed feelings. It had been great to see the holy city and he was thankful he could purchase a scroll of Isaiah. But he had not been able to achieve his main objectives. He wanted to be baptized as a Jew and worship at the temple with all the others. “Sorry sir, we don’t baptize eunuchs” said the priest “It’s in our Law; you can read it for yourself” (Dt 23:1). The priest’s verdict read like a sentence of death. The castrated man had missed out on marriage, on children, and had suffered the stigma that came with emasculation most of his life, and here was one more thing for him to add to his rejection list. It was all becoming a bit much.
He was really looking forward to seeing the temple of Yahweh, but he wasn’t allowed to go through the courtyard gate. He only managed to get a narrow glimpse of the sacred door when the gate was opened momentarily to allow all the ‘real’ Jews in.
Now the long journey back to Africa had begun, More