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Summary: The gospel is not only for Jerusalem and Judea, but also for Samaria, and all the nations.

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REACHING OUT TO SAMARIA

Acts 8:5-25

I. ORIGINS OF THE SAMARITANS

1. The schism (1 Kings 11:26-40; 1 Kings 12)

2. The city of Samaria (1 Kings 16:23-24)

3. The province of Samaria (2 Kings 17:5-41)

People of the land unfriendly to returning Jews

1. Hindered building the Temple (Ezra 4:1-5)

2. Conspired against rebuilding walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:1-9)

3. Built their own temple at Mount Gerizim (John 4:20-22)

II. JESUS AND THE SAMARITANS

1. The gospel sent to the Jews first (Matthew 10:5-6)

2. A Samaritan village rejects Jesus (Luke 9:51-56)

3. Who is my neighbour? - the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)

4. Ten lepers healed, one of them a Samaritan(Luke 17:11-19)

5. The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:9; John 4:27-28)

6. The white fields of Samaria (John 4:35; John 4:39-42)

Looking up from the well, Jesus pointed the disciples to a rare sight. Distinguished by their white turbans, He could see many Samaritans approaching. “Lift up your eyes,” said Jesus. “See how the fields are already white for harvest.”

7. Jesus accused of being a Samaritan (John 8:48)

The worst insult His enemies could think of:

“You are a Samaritan, and have a devil.”

8. The Great Commission (Acts 1:8)

The gospel is not only for Jerusalem and Judea, but also for Samaria, and all nations.

III. THE EVANGELISATION OF SAMARIA

Acts 8:5-25

1. The gospel is not only for Jerusalem and Judea. It is also for Samaria, and all the nations. So when the church was scattered by persecution, the deacon Philip went to Samaria and there preached Christ.

Philip's words were accompanied by signs and miracles. Demons were cast out, and the lame and the paralysed were healed. The Samaritans were willing to listen to what the evangelist had to say.

Prior to this the people of that city had been enthralled by a sorcerer called Simon. This unsavoury character bewitched his gullible public into imagining that he was a great man. Such was his impact upon the credulousness of his victims that they seem to have believed that he was some kind of manifestation of God Himself!

The people believed Philip's message concerning the kingdom of God, and they believed in the name of Jesus Christ, and were baptised. Simon the sorcerer also professed belief, was baptised, and followed Philip. Simon seemed fascinated by what he must have deemed Philip's superior magic.

2. In his Pentecost sermon Peter had taught, “Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Paul would later teach, “If anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). Yet the Holy Spirit did not immediately fall upon the new Christians in Samaria.

There was nothing wrong with Philip's preaching, nor with the response to the gospel of the generality of the Samaritans. However, it was important to maintain the unity of the church in the face of the historical schism between Jews and Samaritans. The sovereign Holy Spirit withheld Himself until Philip received backup from Jerusalem!


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