It was the mission. Jesus told the disciples that they would be his witnesses. In Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. In Jerusalem, the new church was growing but then the Jewish leadership set out to decimate the church. Saul led a great persecution. It scattered the followers to Judea and Samaria. One of the other deacons, Phillip, became a bold evangelist. He was in Samaria and people were being saved, being healed, and being freed from demonic oppression and possession. He was so amazing that even a local magician Simon was saved.
Simon had been an enemy of God, but instead He was now saved. Still, Simon was amazed by God’s power. He wanted it so bad that he was willing to pay for it. What Simon did not understand, however, was that God’s power was not a commodity to be bought or sold. Instead, it is a gift to be given to all that believe. Simon’s greed almost cursed him, but John and Peter showed grace.
This movement was growing. It was growing as John the Baptist’s had before Christ began His ministry. The difference was that the Lord sent His Spirit to make the relationship personal. That Spirit that changed the lives of the early church still guides us today. Jesus sent that Spirit to guide, comfort, lead and empower us. We can call on the Lord to lead us and as we walk with Him. It is not a commodity to be sold or traded, it is a gift to all that believe. We simply need to humble ourselves and seek God’s leadership as we follow Him. Like the original disciples, we need to trust God to meet our needs and provide direction as we trust Him daily.
God Bless You
And Saul approved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria
4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city[a] of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed, or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.
Simon the Magician Believes
9 But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles[b] performed, he was amazed.
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.