GOSPEL MEDITATION # 27
Simon the Magician Believes
- 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.
- The “deacon” Philip preaching in Samaria, comes across one Simon, a magician (Simon Magus) or sorcerer, who captivated many with his powerful magic. This is not slight-of-hand, but demonically powered magic.
- Many trust in Jesus and are baptized, including Simon. Here is the Biblical pattern, evangelism, which focuses on Jesus, conversions follow immediately, and the new believers are baptized.
- The apostles in Jerusalem hear of this and send Peter and John to Samaria. (Remember John, one of the sons of thunder had wanted Jesus to send down fire on Samaritans.)
- Peter and John prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. This is not easily understood. Maybe the apostles expected what had happened to them on the Day of Pentecost to take place with the new Samaritan believers. It is unclear, but the apostles lay hands on and the result is the Holy Spirit was received. Did they speak in tongues, praise God?
- Simon observes the proceedings and wants this power and attempts to buy it. (He still has the heart of an occultist.)
- Peter is not impressed and sharply rebukes Simon. Peter’s words indicate he does not think that Simon is born again—this point is arguable—but Peter does give Simon an opportunity to repent.
- Simon’s answer indicates he still is clinging to magical thinking—wanting Peter to pray for him.