4 comments on “A Strange Man in Samaria

  1. From my studies through the years, I have come to the understanding that it was necessary for those whom Jesus specifically named “Apostles” to come to Samaria, because those with their new faith in the Lord Jesus needed the “special” gifts of the Holy Spirit to mature in their new life in Christ. In the absence of the written Gospel and other New Testament writings, there was the need for the ability to know the messages that came from the Holy Spirit about this new life (“prophecy” as Paul encourages in 1 Corinthians), the gifts of healing and driving out unclean spirits needed to verify that the message was truly from the Lord, and so on. Philip had received these gifts as the Apostles laid their hands on him in Acts 6, but more persons needed these gifts for the church in Samaria to grow. And, Philip would soon be called to another ministry, and not being an “Apostle” through whom these “special” gifts were imparted, would leave Samaria without anyone with the gifts. (The Holy Spirit still heals what no doctoring can heal, drives out unclean spirits that no exorcist can expel, and gives divine understanding of His Word to His people, but not in the same fashion as in the initial church; perhaps in a more situational than specific-group manner.)

    As for Simon the Sorcerer, he seems to me primarily to have a need to grow in his new-found faith. All of his “professional” life he had known only the ways of the World. He was perhaps, as you indicate, an extreme example of the all those who came to faith in Jesus at Philip’s ministry there. He needed to learn to listen to those who had received those special gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles regarding his new life in Christ. Peter’s command to him to repent of his error was far cry from the contrived error of Ananias and Sapphira, though it certainly emphasized the severity of trifling with the free gift of the Holy Spirit. It impresses me that Simon seemed willing to repent and learn since he asked Peter to pray for him that he be relieved of the consequence of his error.

    I’m sure most will say “Ya, but…” to these ideas, but this is how I see it presently.

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