Philip sent to Meet an Ethiopian – Acts 8

Lambert Sustris - The Baptism of the Ethiopian...

Lambert Sustris – The Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch by the Deacon Philip – WGA21979 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verse 25 says that Peter and John “testified” and spoke the word of the Lord to villages in Samaria before returning to Jerusalem. “Testifying” merely refers to giving people their eyewitness account of Jesus rising from the dead. Meanwhile, an angel of the Lord appeared to Philip and told him to go to the desert land that was to the south on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza.

Philip did obey, and upon arriving, he met with an Ethiopian eunuch who was a court official to Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. “Candace” was a name assigned to all such rulers of Ethiopia during that time (much like the name Pharaoh was given to rulers of Egypt. Because the Ethiopian would have been returning from worship in Jerusalem to a destination over a 1,000 miles away, he must have been a a very devout man. Some speculate that he was a “God-fearer” — a Gentile who had converted to Judaism. That certainly seems to fit. Philip found him in his chariot reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit sent him to join the Ethiopian in his chariot.

(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

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

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.

 

 

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

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

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.

 

 

Philip Preaches in Samaria – Acts 8

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea Province that I created using Illustrator CS2. I traced this image for the general geographic features. I then manually input data from maps found in a couple of sources. Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco: 1998. p. xxiv. Michael Grant. Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1977. p. 65-67. John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew. Doubleday: 1991. p. 1:434. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Now that the church had scattered to escape the persecution in Jerusalem, one of the places some of them went was Samaria. The Samaritans had long been shunned by the Jews, so the significance should not be overlooked. This was the beginning of evangelism in its purest form. People who held no “office” or position in the church were teaching and preaching the gospel. Philip was one of those first seven that had been chosen a deacons, and he also was teaching in Samaria.

Having been given authority by the laying on of hands by the apostles, Philip was casting out demons, healing the sick and the lame, and (most importantly) preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 says that there was much joy in the city because of the work that he was doing. There was also a man there named Simon, who had practiced manic of some sort. He had amazed the people and had commanded much attention from them because of it. many believed and were baptized.

 

Simon himself was one of those who were baptized, and afterward he stayed with Philip, and was amazed because of the miracles that Philip performed. But before being converted, he had convinced the people that he was himself someone very special – and he also evidently believed that to be the case.

 

(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

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Is the Gratitude? – Luke 17

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea Province that I created using Illustrator CS2. I traced this image for the general geographic features. I then manually input data from maps found in a couple of sources. Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco: 1998. p. xxiv. Michael Grant. Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1977. p. 65-67. John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew. Doubleday: 1991. p. 1:434. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verse 7, Luke tells us that Jesus passed through Samaria on His way to Jerusalem from Galilee. Unless one took a very long route around and out of the way, and crossed the Jordan from the east, it was the only way. Not that Jesus would have wanted to avoid it, but some Jews hated Samaritans enough that they might.

He was met there by ten lepers who were standing far off. Under levitical law, they would be accustomed to doing so (Leviticus 14:1-8). They called to Him, saying Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests, and they were healed on the way. The text says that the one that turned back, fell on his face, and gave thanks to Jesus was a Samaritan.  And Jesus said “Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

It could be that the others were Jews. Or it could be the case that some or all of the others were “foreigners” as well. Jesus was passing “between Samaria and Galilee,” verse 11 says. I don’t think it really matters, actually. But I think the fact that the one that came back and thanked Him was not a Jew did matter. And I believe that when Jesus said Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well,” He did not mean simply that the leper was healed. All of them had been cleansed. But this one, because of his faith, had been forgiven for his sins – just like the paralyzed man of Luke 5:17-26. This is just one more example of Jesus showing us grace for the gentiles that would be remembered after He was gone.

The second thing to take away from this is concerning the nine who did not return to give thanks. How loudly had they cried out to Him for mercy? I keep being reminded of a T-shirt I once saw that said something like “Did you cry out ‘Thank you, Lord’ as loudly as you cried ‘Help me Lord?'” How often do we lack gratitude to the Lord in the same way as those nine?

(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 Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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John 4 – Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

In order to get to Galilee from Judea, one had to either go through Samaria or cross over the Jordan to go around it on the east side.  A strict Jew would do the latter to avoid being defiled by setting foot on Samaritan soil.  After the Assyrians captured Samaria, the Assyrian king brought foreigners from various places in to settle in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:24).  Some Jews remained and intermarried with these foreigners, and the animosity between this mixed race of people and the Jews grew strong over time.

Jesus, however, had come to seek and save the lost and would naturally not avoid these people.  As He approaches Jacob’s well, verse 6 indicates His humanity by saying that He was weary from the journey. Jesus intentionally turns the subject of the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well to her “husband” in verses 17-19. His thorough knowledge of her history is enough to convince her that He may be who He says He is in verse 26, when Jesus makes a rare admission that He is the Messiah.  After she told others, many came from the town and believed by their own encounters with Jesus that He was the “Savior of the world” (verse 42).

When His disciples return in verse 31, Jesus gives them a lesson about sowing and reaping in the kingdom in verses 34-38.  He points out that the sowers and reapers can rejoice together now, as new believers are brought into His kingdom.

Arriving at Cana in Galilee, he heals the son of an official from Capernaum that was dying, but does so from without going with him because the official believed.  When the man returned, he asked the hour at which his son had started improving, and knew it was the same hour that Jesus had told him “your son will live.”  Note that verse 54 says that this was “the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee”  – not that it was the second sign He had done.

Side note: There is an interesting story about the area at Shechem and a picture of what is believed to be Jacob’s well in this article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 10 – Jehu Strikes Down the Prophets of Baal

Jehu-on-black-obelisk

Jehu-on-black-obelisk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria.  So Jehu sent letters to the rulers of the city to prepare to fight him.  But after he had killed the two kings, they were afraid and so he told them to send him the heads of Ahab’s sons.  After this was done, he struck down all that remained in the house of Ahab at Jezreel (verse 11).  On the way to Samaria, he did the same with all the relatives of Ahaziah; and after reaching Samaria, he dealt with the remainder of the house of Ahab.  So now it was fulfilled as Lord had spoken to Elijah (verse 17).

Verses 18-26 detail brilliant planning and execution (literally) on Jehu’s part to exterminate the prophets of Baal in the land.  But although verse 28 says that he wiped out Baal from Israel, but verse 29 says that he left the golden calves in Bethel and Dan and “did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam.” And as Assyria grows stronger, the Lord had already begun (verse 32) to “cut of parts of Israel.”  After the demonstration in the last few chapters of the Lord’s power and His will always coming to pass, it is no surprise to see Hazael of Syria beginning to defeat them throughout Israel territory, as prophesied in 1 Kings 19:15-18. verse 38 tells us that Jehu reigned 28 years before his death, and then Jehoahaz, his son, reigned in his place.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.