Well this Sunday is the Sunday before we recognize the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Todd taught today on Acts chapter 8. I think this is one of the more interesting events of the book of Acts and felt that it went with the theme of “Palm Sunday” to a degree. This is what I got from the passage and from Todd’s message.
This guy, Simon was a magician of sorts. He was well known by the people in the town for being a great person of magic. They considered his stuff top of the class – David Copperfield like in presentation and execution. He was a prideful man who knew how the people received him and was always ready to put on a “great show.” All of this changed with Peter and Philip came into the town and began to heal people of their illnesses. When Simon saw how they did “magic” and transformed people from their previous state, Simon realized that these guys were a lot better than he was. He wanted to learn how they did what they did and offered them money so that they could teach him. The response of Peter was not what he was expecting. Peter basically said that Simon was in a lot of trouble for thinking that he could buy the power of the Holy Spirit. Even after “getting saved” and getting baptized, Simon had missed the most important part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
When we switch our story to an Ethiopian Eunuch, we see a very different type of story. Here Philip goes out into the desert and finds a guy in a chariot with a Eunuch who we know watches over the Queen of Persia’s gold for a living. Somehow, he has a scroll with part of the book of Isaiah on it and is struggling to understand it. When Philip shows up, he explains the passage to the Eunuch and the Eunuch receives Christ and is also baptized.
We have two very different people in this passage of Scripture. One who lives in a prideful manner and another who is willing to admit that he just doesn’t have a clue? It is amazing to me how God leads Philip to deal with both of these men.
What have I learned from these verses? Quite a few things:
God’s grace extends to even those who are prideful and only seem to care about the external things of life.
Baptism does not save a person or even “seal” a person to walk in line with God’s decrees. It is only by the Holy Spirit and the recognition of who Jesus is.
God wants everyone to know the truth of the Gospel. God sent Philip to see one person in a desert and used Philip to change one man’s life in the desert. I wonder if I would be willing to follow Christ in that manner if He asked me to do the same.
These are just a few things that I have come up with in this passage. There is certainly a lot more going on here. I encourage you to check it out yourself. God bless