Acts 8:1-25 – this passage shows the church breaking new ground and reaching a distinct new cultural group. Before Jesus returned to heaven, He informed His followers that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The apostles remained in Jerusalem and it is the other disciples who are scattered and take the message to Samaria. This teaches that we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus.
Jews and Gentiles were enemies and so for the disciples and later the apostles to accept the Samaritans teaches us that God is interested in all people and salvation is for all. The reason why the disciples initially head to Samaria is because there was a great persecution against the church and this causes the disciples to leave Jerusalem. This difficult time for the church is used by God to spread the message and break new ground.
The Lord is in charge of all our circumstances and whilst we may not enjoy hardship, our faith is strengthened when we remember that nothing is out of His control. We should not be discouraged by difficult circumstances. The incident of Simon the magician, who thought he could buy God’s gift of the Holy Spirit and who was rebuked by Peter because His heart was not right with God, is a warning that people can profess faith in Jesus but not really a genuine relationship with Him. We must guard against worldly values and attitudes being brought into the church.
God’s Blessing David O’Mara
From the 10am Pastor’s Bulletin, 20 March 2022