Peter Rebukes Simon – Acts 8

Word reached the apostles that the people of Samaria were being taught, believed and obeyed the gospel. So they sent Peter and John to “lay hands” upon many of them so that they would receive the gifts from the Holy Spirit that would allow them to work the same miracles that Philip was doing – healing the sick, the lame, etc.

Peter's conflict with Simon Magus by Avanzino ...

Peter’s conflict with Simon Magus by Avanzino Nucci, 1620. Simon is on the right, dressed in black. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Simon saw that these gifts came to those who had been so designated by the apostles, he wanted those gifts as well. So he offered money to Peter and John in hopes of getting them to lay hands on him also. Peter’s rebuke of Simon for this shameful act and the condition of his heart is cause for some debate as to what is actually meant. Part of what Peter said was: “I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

But it seems clear to this writer that Peter meant exactly what he said. Simon did have bitterness in his heart because of the loss of the attention that he had received from amazing the people, and he wanted that attention back. This selfishness was the motive for his desire to receive the Holy Spirit. There was nothing about it that remotely resembled a desire to serve the Lord or to help others in need. It was pure selfishness and pride that motivated him, and he needed to repent for it. His request for their prayers aft the rebuke gives us hope that he did repent, and perhaps he became useful in the Lord’s church.


(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.




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