Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
Comment: The good news of what was happening in Samaria reached Jerusalem. The early church sent its two main leaders, Peter and John, to check on what was happening and to strengthen the work. By the laying on of their hands the Spirit came on the believers and presumably they began to do some of the miraculous things which were happening often in the early church. Simon, the magician, who was used to magic, seems to have thought that this was some form of magic and wanted to buy ‘the art’ from Peter and John. It appears that he was prepared to pay to get the ‘art’ given to him. Peter is straight and calls Simon a fake and challenges him in the strongest terms to repent and change his ways. It reads as if Simon did repent and in humility got right with God.
Prayer: Help me to be quick in repentance and firm in obedience to You, O my God.