June 16 – Acts 8:4-25

June 16 – Acts 8:4-25

Philip Preaches in Samaria

But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil[a] spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. 10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” 11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.

12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. 19 “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”

20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! 21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. 22 Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, 23 for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”

24 “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”

25 After testifying and preaching the word of the Lord in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And they stopped in many Samaritan villages along the way to preach the Good News.

Acts 8:4-25 (NLT)

One Comment

    Jason Parsons

    Two concepts stand out to me in these passages.
    1. The believers who had to leave their homes in Jerusalem were not afraid to share their faith even after the severe persecution they saw done to Stephen and others at the hands of the religious leaders. They still told of the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection “wherever they went” (verse 4).

    2. The story of Simon the sorcerer is hard to know what’s going on. The story says he believes and is baptized. Then offers money for the power to give the Holy Spirit (that wasn’t wise), then Peter rips into him with severe accusations that seem very similar to Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira, but then he seems to be convicted of his sin and seeks restoration with God.
    Simon can be seen in one of two ways: 1) he was a genuine new believer in Jesus and was not too far along on his journey with God and was therefore prone to make foolish mistakes like offering money for the power of the Holy Spirit, his repentance at the end was therefore genuine and caused life change; or 2) he was an insincere believer who was trying the new thing in town and really was only interested people praising him and wanted to know this new secret formula for welding so much power. His repentance at the end was therefore superficial and only because of the consequences of not being a part of the supernatural power that was on display. He wanted to have this power for his own good and not God’s.
    I want to believe the first one but I also think it is entirely plausible. Young believers are prone to be more like the world, which Simon obviously shows here.

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