When Stephen was stoned to death a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Those who were scattered went in different directions telling the good news about Jesus.
Philip went down to the city of Samaria, where he told the people about Jesus, the Christ. And the crowds, when they saw the miracles he performed, paid attention to what he said. Many who could not walk or were lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city. Both the men and women who believed Philip, as he told the good news about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus, were baptized.
When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had believed God's message, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they came, prayed that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
When the apostles had told the people about Jesus and preached the word of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem; and as they went, they told the good news in many villages of the Samaritans. But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, |Rise, and go south along the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza.| As he went on his way he met an Ethiopian who had charge of the treasures of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. As the Ethiopian sat in his chariot reading from the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit said to Philip, |Go up and speak to the man in the chariot.| As Philip ran up and heard him reading from the prophet Isaiah, he asked, |Do you understand what you are reading?| |How can I,| said the Ethiopian, |unless there is some one to tell me what it means?| So he begged Philip to come up and sit beside him.
Now the passage of scripture that he was reading was this:
|He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
And as a lamb is dumb before the shearer,
So he opened not his mouth.|
The Ethiopian said to Philip, |I beg of you, tell me of whom is the prophet speaking? Of himself or of some one else?| Then Philip, taking this verse as his text, told him the good news about Jesus. As they went along, they came to some water, and the Ethiopian said, |Here is water. What prevents my being baptized?| So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both went down into the water, and Philip baptized the man. After they had come up from the water, the Spirit of the Lord sent Philip on his way, and the Ethiopian did not see him again, but went away happy. But Philip told the good news in every town until he reached Caesarea.