Simon the Sorcerer

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery(A) in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,(B) 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.”(C) 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God(D) and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,(E) both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles(F) he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria(G) had accepted the word of God,(H) they sent Peter and John(I) to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,(J) 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them;(K) they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.(L) 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them,(M) and they received the Holy Spirit.(N)

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!(O) 21 You have no part or share(P) in this ministry, because your heart is not right(Q) before God. 22 Repent(R) of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me(S) so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord(T) and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.(U)

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A magician believes in Christ

9-13 But there was a man named Simon in that city who had been practising magic for some time and mystifying the people of Samaria. He pretended that he was somebody great and everyone from the lowest to the highest was fascinated by him. Indeed, they used to say, “This man must be that great power of God.” He had influenced them for a long time, astounding them by his magical practises. But when they had come to believe Philip as he proclaimed to them the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptised. Even Simon himself became a believer and after his baptism attached himself closely to Philip. As he saw the signs and remarkable demonstrations of power which took place, he lived in a state of constant wonder.

God confirms Samaria’s acceptance of the Gospel

14-17 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, they sent Peter and John down to them. When these two had arrived they prayed for the Samaritans that they might receive the Holy Spirit for as yet he had not fallen upon any of them. They were living simply as men and women who had been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. So then and there they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Simon’s monstrous suggestion is sternly rebuked

18-19 When Simon saw how the Spirit was given through the apostles’ laying their hands upon people he offered them money with the words, “Give me this power too, so that if I were to put my hands on anyone he could receive the Holy Spirit.”

20-23 But Peter said to him, “To hell with you and your money! How dare you think you could buy the gift of God! You can have no share or place in this ministry, for your heart is not honest before God. All you can do now is to repent of this wickedness of yours and pray earnestly to God that the evil intention of your heart may be forgiven. For I can see inside you, and I see a man bitter with jealousy and bound with his own sin!”

24 To this Simon answered, “Please pray to the Lord for me that none of these things that you have spoken about may come upon me!”

25 When Peter and John had given their clear witness and spoken the Word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the good news to many Samaritan villages as they went.

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