A Possible Red Card From Your Sponsor

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daily text logoJuly 23, 2014

Acts 8:18-25

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

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

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

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

CONSIDER THIS

Let’s talk about Simon, but first a word from your sponsor:

endures-forever[Are you reading the biblical texts that accompany these entries? If you are like me, I know how I can tend to treat Scripture readings in devotional material as “fly-over” country. In other words, just get me the stuff the guy is trying to say here. That’s not a yellow card. It’s a red card. My words are to the biblical text, by magnitude of significance, are as Hostess Donuts are to Krispy Kreme. ;0) The Daily Text must be about the Daily Text, the Word of God. Never, never, never, never, ever skip over the text. In fact, if you only have time for one part of the Daily Text, read the Scripture portion. My words will pass away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. End of sidebar.]

Ok, let’s don’t talk about Simon the Sorcerer. To further demonstrate my point, how about just going back and re-reading the Daily Text (aka the Scripture portion) from yesterday and today. You will learn all you need to know about Simon.

And while you are at it, share what you observe about Simon and the implications in the Comment field below. I’m opening up comments as a little Daily Text experiment this week.

COME HOLY SPIRIT!

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Unlike so many who attempt to use their money to get what they want (demand) in the church, Simon apparently repented when he heard God’s word through Peter’s rebuke. It’s a story of repentance and redemption as much as it is a story of sin and rebuke.

  2. It seems that what Simon sought most was power. How easy is it for the Christian to mistakenly believe that because God is all powerful, that we can wield that power for our own selfish means? We see it in politics all the time. We can also see it in the setting of the church. Don’t we sometimes seek to “buy” power with our good works or our sacrifice of time or money? Jesus said we are to be humble servants, not exalted examples of moral perfection. I think this is a real temptation today, to be noticed rather than to labor in the trenches with God, with no human recognition for our sacrifices. Simon lacked a transformation, he was still seeking the recognition he craved in his unconverted life, not realizing that being recognized by God as a child of God called him to a higher, and more humble purpose.

  3. Simon in the NT and Balaam from the OT have a lot in common. Balaam was a “prophet for profit” and Simon was a wannabe “prophet for profit”. If either were alive today, they would be televangelists!

    Love Seedbed, by the way. 🙂

    • Thanks Betty for your good word about Seedbed. A “prophet for profit,” — true oxy-moron. Kind of like a lady-mud wrestler. ;0)

  4. Many Simon’s live with us today. They want to try this thing called “faith” but are scared about letting the old ways pass away to make room for the new. Trusting in the Lord is the first step to a fuller life, but for many it is a scary.

    • I think Kristi has a good summation of Simon. Simon’s final response could be a sign of repentance, but yet, Peter instructed Simon to pray and Simon responds with “You pray”. My question is, did Simon participate in the laying on of hands and receive the Holy Spirit–I tend to think not; thus he went part way but not all the way.

  5. I love Simon’s tender heart. He sought a gift with his understanding in his own flesh and when he was held accountable his tender heart did not harden but he cried out for mercy. That’s how I want to be when God shows me something new.

    • Did Simon repent? I don’t think we know from the text. He asked Peter to pray that Peter’s words would not come true. Peter said that his money should be destroyed along with him. We really do not know if he truly repented or not. This is a very interesting text.

  6. Simon believed and made the mistake of thinking the Spirit was for sale – as in “I need me some of that Spirit”
    And Simon he recognized the power of a Spirit filled ministry – and even after Peter confronted him – he still wanted to access it to for “his sake” by asking Peter to pray for him and almost demanding one last favor/ blessing. I am not able to conclude that he ever repented even though the “they” might indicate he joined them in the ministry.

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