Saul persecutes the believers. Philip leads two people in Samaria to faith in Jesus Christ. Through the laying on of hands, they receive the Holy Spirit.
VERSE 1. Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.
They were all scattered abroad. This seems like a bad thing. However, it got Christians out of Jerusalem and spread them all over the known world.
Wherever they ended up, these new Christians start talking about Jesus Christ, as we see in verse 4 below.
VERSE 2. Devout men buried Stephen and lamented greatly over him.
VERSE 3. But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house and dragged both men and women off to prison.
Wherever they ended up, these new Christians start talking about Jesus Christ.
VERSE 5. Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.
VERSE 6. The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip when they heard and saw the signs which he did.
when they heard and saw the signs which he did. The miracles were not given for their own sake.
They are not given so Philip can feel good about himself.
Rather, the miracles are given so as to attest to the truth of what was being preached.
VERSE 7. For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
There was great joy. In those days, the preachers of Jesus Christ brought people great joy. In our day, many preachers focus on bad news and drive people away.
VERSE 9. But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,
VERSE 10. to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that great power of God.”
VERSE 11. They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.
VERSE 12. But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning God’s Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
VERSE 13. Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occurring, he was amazed.
signs and great miracles. In those days, signs and miracles were common. What happened since then? Where are the signs and miracles now?
VERSE 14. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
VERSE 15. who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
VERSE 16. for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus.
as yet he had fallen on none of them. Getting baptized did not bestow the Holy Spirit. That was a separate event from baptism.
they laid their hands on them. In the early days, the Holy Spirit arrived by wind and fire at Pentecost. But later, the Holy Spirit usually arrived by the laying on of hands. Read more »
they received the Holy Spirit. Some people say that the sacrament of confirmation is the modern-day version of receiving the Holy Spirit.
However, we are not aware of any instance where the modern-day sacrament of confirmation triggered the miraculous phenomenon described in the New Testament.
VERSE 18. Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
VERSE 19. saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.”
VERSE 20. But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
VERSE 21. You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn’t right before God.
VERSE 22. Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
VERSE 23. For I see that you are in the poison of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”
VERSE 24. Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me.”
VERSE 25. They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans.
VERSE 26. But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert.”
VERSE 27. He arose and went; and behold, there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship.
VERSE 28. He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
VERSE 29. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.”
VERSE 30. Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
VERSE 31. He said, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He begged Philip to come up and sit with him.
VERSE 32. Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, so he doesn’t open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7. He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn’t open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he didn’t open his mouth.
Mark 14:55. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none.
John 19:9. He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
Acts 8:32. Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, so he doesn’t open his mouth.
VERSE 33. In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away. Who will declare His generation? For his life is taken from the earth.”
Isaiah 53:8. He was taken away by oppression and judgment. As for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living and stricken for the disobedience of my people?
VERSE 34. The eunuch answered Philip, “Who is the prophet talking about? About himself, or about someone else?”
VERSE 35. Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached to him about Jesus.
VERSE 36. As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?”
This verse does not appear in most manuscripts.
The TR manuscript has this: Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
For most people in those days, the term “Son of God” was a reference to Caesar.
VERSE 38. He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
VERSE 39. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn’t see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing.
VERSE 40. But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the Good News to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.