· Saul watched Stephen death and approved of the action
· This incident sparked a persecution of Christians, and they all left Jerusalem except for the twelve.
· Saul is a main leader of the persecution, diligently looking for Christians and having them jailed
· Those that left Jerusalem shared about Jesus wherever they went.
· Luke’s account shifts to Philip, The second main person that God works through and does miracles that is not one of the twelve
· Philip preaches in the region of Samaria (Samaritans were of mixed Jewish and Gentile descent)
· The cities response to the miracles Philip was performing was joy
· A man named Simon had been doing illusions in the region and had gained great respect for being someone of importance and power.
· When folks heard Philip’s message though, the committed to following Jesus
· Even Simon believed, was baptized, and was amazed at the miracles of Philip.
· When word had reached the Apostles that the Samaritans had responded to the Good News they sent Peter and John (Jesus said to Peter, “On this rock, I will build my church.” So Peter goes to authenticate the experience. Plus the gospel is following the pattern – First Jerusalem, then Judea, now Samaria, and the to the utter most parts of the earth – the Gentiles)
· When Peter and John arrive, the Samaritans receive the Holy Spirit though they have already responded to Jesus. (Not sure this is normative, it seems related to Peter’s role of authenticating the new experience for the half Jewish Samaritans)
· Simon was amazed at what he saw when the new Christians received the Holy Spirit and offered to pay for the ability to be able to do the same thing
· Peter rebukes him. One because the Holy Spirit is freely given to anyone who believes and two he sees that Simon was looking to share a gift with others but make a profit.
· Simon afraid asks that they may pray so that he isn’t cursed by God
· Peter and John share their story with the new Christians and then return to Jerusalem sharing the gospel all along the way.
· Story shift’s back to Philip who is told by the Lord to take a certain road.
· On the way he runs across a eunuch who had a high position serving the queen of Ethiopia.
· The Spirit tells Philip to run alongside the Chariot
· Philip hears the man is reading Isaiah 53:7-8 which is about the Messiah
· Philip asks if the man understands, he doesn’t and Philip explains the gospel starting with Isaiah.
· The Eunuch understood that the first step was baptism and asked if he could be baptized right away
· Philip baptized him, and was somehow transported to another region where he continues to preach the good news.
· Like Philip I need to listen for the Lord’s call to share. I don’t want God to have to use calamity in order to get me to go out.
· The gospel can take hold anywhere with anybody. I just need to be willing to share it and let God do the rest.
· The Holy Spirit is alive and active, I just need to listen for him
I know you want me to share the good news with others. Please help me hear your voice and be courageous and share. Would you open my eyes to someone today that I can share your truth with. May the Spirit mightily move in me that others may see your power and be drawn to Jesus.
In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
Posted on Fri, February 13, 2015
by Joel King