PETER APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST
Acts Chapter 8 verses 4-25 – Peter and John see Samaritans join the Church (For whole text see separate post)
A. How the Gospel was received by the Samaritans
1.Because of strong persecution believers left Jerusalem, and some of them come to Samaria.
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
[Note: The Samaritans and the Jews often hated each other, because of a different point of view regarding Israel’s dharma (chos-lugs). Yet the Samaritans were also waiting of Christ Messiah to come]
2.There was a big response.
And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs which he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.
མི་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་ཕི་ལིབ་ཀྱིས་གསུངས་པའི་བསྟན་པ་ཐོས་ཤིང༌། ཁོང་གིས་སྒྲུབ་པའི་རྟགས་མཐོང་ནས་ཡིད་མཐུན་ཏེ་ཁོང་གི་གསུང་ལ་ཉན། གང་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན། གདོན་འདྲེ་མི་གཙང་བ་རྣམས་སྐད་ངན་ཆེན་པོ་ཤོར་ཏེ་མི་མང་པོའི་ལུས་ནས་ཕྱིར་ཐོན་ཞིང༌། ཞ་བོ་དང་ཡན་ལག་བསྐམས་པ་མང་པོ་ནད་ལས་ཐར་བར་གྱུར།
3. But despite being baptized in the name of Jesus no one showed special signs of having received the Holy Spirit.
4. When Peter and John came to pray with laying on of hands, the Spirit falls on them.
B. How Simon, Samaria’s famous magician, reacted to the gospel
1. Seeing in Philip’s ministry a power greater than his own, Simon the Sorcerer (sngags-pa), believes and is baptized.
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
2. Then being even further amazed by Peter and John’s ministry, he is tempted to want the same power and thinks he can buy it, perhaps in the form of some super-powerful mantra (sngags), to use for his own prestige and profit.
3. He is firmly rebuked by Peter and told to repent.
C. How the Jerusalem Church responded to the news about Samaria
1. The apostles take immediate interest in events (v.14).
2. Peter and John find none of the signs of the Holy Spirit among the baptized believers. So they pray for them.
Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
3. When the Spirit does fall on them, the apostles continue preaching to other Samaritans (v.25).
4. The apostles had learned, from this unusual delay in the giving of the Spirit, that even Samaritans are accepted into the church. It was the fulfilment of Jesus’s command to take the gospel even to Samaria (Acts 1:8).
D. What we may learn from the case of Simon
1. It is God who chooses what gifts he gives to men (v.20).
2. Those gifts are not to be used for our personal profit (1 Peter 4:10,11).
In future weeks we shall be reading how Peter was involved in the continuing spread of the good news; and even beyond Samaria to the rest of the world, as Jesus had said it would (Acts 1:8).
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”