Acts 8:9–25 (ESV)
Simon the Magician Believes
9 But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They
all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after
being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
14 Now when the
apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for
he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon
saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But
Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent,
therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 24 And
Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
25 Now when
they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
The power of the Gospel, which reaches
even the most unlikely people, is illustrated in the lives of the Samaritans. God and His grace cannot be bought. A person’s life is transformed only by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word. Today, ask the Lord to bless your study of
His Word. He will transform you and bless your service according to His gifts and good pleasure.
I pray: Father, all too often I have treated Your grace as something
I could purchase or earn. Forgive me, for Jesus’ sake, and let Your Holy Spirit work mightily in my life, that I might imitate Philip and proclaim Your Word of life. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran
Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1849.