READ: Acts 8:9-24 (esp., v9-13)
- Simon was a magician with great art. He was known for amazing people and calling attention to his own personal greatness. It’s no wonder he was attracted to what he saw happening when the truth of Jesus was being spoken and people were experiencing healing. He was as amazed at that activity as people were amazed at him. Maybe that’s exactly what got him interested. Something clicked for him when he saw God at work.
- The same word for “pay attention” is used for what people did as Philip preached, and what they did when Simon performed magic. In other words, attention can be paid to anything that causes people to take notice. But, at some point, the truth becomes clear. Simon was gaining attention for his arts. God was getting attention because of the results people saw in the lives of those around them. Nothing seems as persuasive as simply seeing lives changed.
- Magic arts may amaze, but they don’t call on people to make personal changes. And people were believing and acting on it. Even Simon appears to have made a genuine move toward Jesus. Like the others, he identified with the death and resurrection of Jesus in baptism. He became a Christian. The message of Jesus won out.
- What was there about the message of Jesus that persuaded you to come to Christ?
- What do you recall about your baptism?
- Describe a conversion that you observed that left you most amazed.
PRAY: Thank God for the message of Jesus and its power to change people. Pray that God keeps working in the lives of those who come to Madison Park. Pray that you are open to His work in, and then, through you.