Simon The Sorcerer
Simon lived in the city of
Samaria, about thirty miles north of Jerusalem. The people of all that country thought Simon was a
great person, for he did tricks and magic they could not understand.
"This man has the power of God," they said.
Then Philip came to Samaria and preached about Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. Philip was one of the seven men who had been
chosen to care for the poor. Now that it was not safe for believers to
live in Jerusalem, most of them had gone elsewhere. Wherever they went they told about Jesus Christ, and the new religion spread fast.
Since Philip had little to do in Jerusalem now, he traveled about preaching the gospel. The Samaritans listened eagerly to his
preaching. They had never heard the gospel story before. As they saw
Philip work miracles in the name of Jesus, they marveled at the great
power God had given him. Many men and women believed in Jesus Christ and were
Simon, too, heard about Philip and came to see and hear. He watched this preacher from Jerusalem heal the sick and make the lame walk. Simon knew he could not do these things. And he, too,
believed and was baptized.
Because Simon was so impressed by the miracles that Philip did, he followed him everywhere. Perhaps he thought Philip had a new
kind of magic. Perhaps he hoped to learn to do the same miracles Philip did.
News reached the apostles in Jerusalem that many Samaritans had accepted Jesus as Savior after hearing Philip preach. The apostles sent Peter and John to help. As soon as Peter and John arrived, they went to find Philip and the new believers. Peter and John laid
their hands on the new believers and prayed. These people, too, received the Holy Spirit.
Simon was amazed. He wished he had the kind of power Peter and John had. Because he was used to buying the things he wanted, Simon offered the apostles money and asked, "Give me, too, this power that I may lay my hands on a person and he will receive the Holy Spirit."
Peter was indignant that anyone would try to buy the Holy Spirit. To Simon he said, "May your money die with you if you think God's
gifts can be bought. You do not have any part in this matter, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your sins and pray for God's
forgiveness, for there is still sin in your heart."
Simon was frightened. He begged Peter, "Pray to the Lord for me that none of these
things will happen."
After the apostles had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem. Through each village, they passed
they preached to all who would listen. All the way to Jerusalem, more believers were added to God's church.