Tag: Pentecost in Samaria
Scripture reading for November 9th: Acts 8-9
“Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:4-8)
Persecution, led by Saul (Paul) was hard on the early church. Many of the leaders of the church were forced to leave Jerusalem and scatter to all the other cities in the region to avoid imprisonment and possible death. Samaritans were considered by the Jews to be outcasts because they were of mixed race. Philip, one of the first deacons, felt directed to go to Samaria.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Philip began to preach the message of Christ and pray for those who were sick, crippled and bound by evil spirits. As the Lord had promised, healings and miracles began to occur and drew crowds. Demons came out and people watched and listened to the message of Jesus. Great joy was in the city because of the Good News of Christ! A revival took place from the simple preaching of a follower of Jesus being obedient as he entered this idolatrous and bound culture. God was at work in the midst of the persecution!
A powerful sorcerer named Simon was among those who heard the message Philip preached. Simon, along with many others believed the message and was baptized. He followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the many miracles. Peter and John came from Jerusalem to see these Samaritans who had believed and laid hands on them and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. They were evidently baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Simon watched and offered money to get what they had! The Apostles sternly rebuked him, and Simon asked for prayer. They continued preaching in other Samaritan cities and the Word spread!
Simple believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed Christ. Christ worked with them, confirming their message with signs and wonders. Crowds were drawn, people heard the Word and believed and joy filled the city! People were baptized and delivered. More were filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out to reach others! Let’s do it!