Summary: A study of the book of Acts 8: 1 - 25
Acts 8: 1 - 25
Simon and Simon
8 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” 25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Today we are not going to look at the singing group Simon and Garfunkel but Simon and Simon - two men both called Simon. The one is Simon Peter and the other is a guy by the name of Simon the Sorcerer or also called Simon Magus [Greek] or Simon the Magician [Latin]
As we have learned so far in the book of Acts is that through the first few years of the infant church the believers had suffered a few minor discomforts, but they had come through those triumphantly, and the church had continued to grow and grow. Jerusalem was ‘filled with their teaching’ and the work of caring for all the true people of God was now being successfully administered.
However, soon the party was over. It was like a spiritual earthquake. It seemed that Satan was not asleep or held fully in check after all. Suddenly there was devastation among the people of God. Many were being dragged off to prison, others recognized that they had no alternative but to flee for their lives and the lives of their families, and the carefully erected administration of the church had collapsed. The Apostles now bravely remained in Jerusalem so as to care for the few who were left, and to visit in prison those who were being held in captivity. And as they looked around at the people that they now had to cater for, and the numbers crowded in the prisons, it must have appeared as though all their dreams were dashed. It must have seemed as though the church was coming to an end.