When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8:39-40)
According to Wikipedia the Greek verb harpazō, meaning carried away or caught up, is used in this Scripture. Harpazō is also used when talking about the rapture in 1 Thessolonians 4: “Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the air to be forever with our Lord.” And in 2 Corinthians 12:2: “I knew a man in Christ who…was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows.”
These are all situations where people were or will be transported supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. We often hear about the miracles of healing, changing water into wine, and exorcising evil spirits, but rarely is the miracle of teleportation the subject of a sermon. Perhaps the eunuch was the only person in history to experience the Holy Spirit carry someone away. We don’t know if he saw Philip’s body rise, leave in a cloud, or disappear into thin air, but the miracle touched the eunuch. He rejoiced. Many believe the eunuch returned to Ethiopia and started The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo (Unity) Church which is still in existence today.
The Holy Spirit placed Philip in Azotus where God wanted him to teach. I imagine he shared the Gospel with new vitality from Azotus to Caesarea where he settled. We will learn about great the great things Philip accomplished when we reach Acts 21.
Father God, I praise you for all the miracles you perform. Nothing is impossible for You! Help me see and be amazed by your miracles: the rotation of the planets around the sun, a newborn baby, or a healing, and let me study Your word and love with new vitality. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.