Philip went to a large city in Samaria & preached to the people there that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God (249). God used Philip to bring healing to many paralyzed & lame people, and to expel evil spirits from many other people. So there was great joy in that city. And when they saw the miracles that were done, crowds of people began paying closer attention to what Philip said.
A man named Simon lived there; for a long time he had astounded the Samaritans with his magic tricks. He claimed that he was someone great, and everyone in the city, from every class of society, had been paying close attention to him. “Simon has the great power of God,” they had said.
But when Philip came, many people believed his message about the good news of God’s kingdom & about Jesus Christ. Many men & women were baptized to show their allegiance to Jesus.
Even Simon the magician was baptized. From then on, Simon stayed close to Philip & was astounded when he saw the great wonders & miracles done by God through Philip.
The witnesses in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter & John to them. When they arrived, they found that the new believers in Samaria had been baptized with water for the forgiveness of their sins, but they had not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit. So Peter & John laid hands on them & prayed that they would receive the Holy Spirit.
And as they prayed, so it happened; God’s Holy Spirit invaded & took over the lives of the new Samaritan believers!
Simon the magician saw that the believers had received the Holy Spirit when John & Peter placed their hands on them. So he offered money to Peter & John, saying, “Give this power to me too, so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.”
But Peter rebuked Simon: “You are in danger of going to hell, for thinking that you can buy God’s gift with money! You can have no part in our work, as long as your heart is not right with God. Your sinful envy is obvious. You need to repent & pray that God will forgive you for even thinking of such an evil plan.”
Then Simon said to Peter & John, “Please pray to God for me, so that I may not go to hell.”
After they had shared their testimony and proclaimed God’s message, Peter & John went back to Jerusalem. On their way they preached the good news about Jesus in many villages of Samaria.
(249) Acts 8:5-25