Acts 8: 34-38 “The eunuch* asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”
It may not have escaped your notice that circumcision is a, shall we say… male-centric ritual. And really, it’s only centered on a particular kind of male body. If you don’t fit that framework, you just have to sit on the sidelines. When it comes to the actual act of circumcision, those of us on the sidelines probably don’t mind too much, but when it comes to participation in the covenant, then exclusion starts to matter.
As the Ethiopian eunuch demonstrates, baptism is a far more inclusive marker than circumcision ever was. He intuitively understands that baptism is available to him. I love his question, “What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” It’s a rhetorical question. He already knows the answer: nothing.
As we see the holy spirit push the early church more and more towards inclusion, we start to see the importance of the new covenant markers of baptism and communion. They include. They bring people in. They encourage fellowship. These are the things Jesus unveils in his new covenant, as he meets the culture where it is and challenges it to grow. What does that mean for you today?
*If you're asking yourself, "what's a eunuch?" See what google has to say.