Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 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. 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. So there was much joy in that city.
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. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 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. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Comment: You may remember that Jesus, just before He ascended into heaven after His resurrection, told His followers that they should be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Initially the witnessing disciples were based in Jerusalem, the capital of Judea. The persecution headed by Saul drove, for their lives’ sake, people away from the centre. Philip ended up in Samaria the country to the north inhabited by people who had a lot of Jewish blood mixed in with those from other nationalities. The Jews hated them, but they were pretty religious people even though they had left the true Jewish faith. Philip went there and in a powerful ministry which was associated with many miraculous happenings led a significant group of the Samaritans to believe in Jesus. I don’t understand ‘magic’, although I have watched people do unbelievable things on TV. There was one Simon in the area who practiced magic and he apparently had a large following of people who thought him ‘great’. He listened to Philip, believed and was baptized. I wonder why he has been selected out to be especially mentioned? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Prayer: Thank You that the message of the Cross has spread as widely as it has around the world, Lord Jesus of the Cross.
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