GOSPEL MEDITATION # 26
Saul Ravages the Church
Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
- Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- After Stephen is killed and caused a “great lamentation” among the believers in Jesus—normal when loss occurs.
- The religious authorities turn their attention to the fledgling Church, and lead by an outraged Saul/Paul, much chaos is generated among the believers. The result is a scattering of Jesus’ followers throughout the region, and as they went, they were “preaching the word.” These are the un-named evangelists.
- Philip, one of the Seven, not the apostle, goes to Samaria, an area where he would not be welcome.
- Philip preached to the Samaritans that Jesus was the Messiah and crowds heard him gladly, surprisingly.
- Luke tells us that the hearers were highly impressed by seeing the signs Philip was going. (Perhaps Philip was among the “72” Jesus sent out as recorded in Luke 10.)
- Then we recall the time Jesus visited Samaria and the impact there as recorded in John 4. (Luke would not have known about John’s Gospel.)
- “Unclean spirits” came out of many Luke tells us. The impact of this would have been dramatic—ancient peoples suffered mightily from demonic oppression and possession and were virtually powerless over such evil forces. Something utterly new is seen now.
- Also, many were healed, and of serious organic physical conditions. This is an account of a real awakening, noted throughout Christian history as the Samaritan Awakening.
- There was “much joy” in Samaria.