Acts 8:4-25

People in Samaria hear God's good news

4 The believers who had left Jerusalem went to many different towns. In each place, they told the people the message about Jesus. 5 One of them who was called Philip went to a city in Samaria. There he told the people the message about Jesus Christ, God's Messiah.

6 Crowds of people came together to hear Philip speak. They saw him do many miracles which showed that God was with him. So they listened carefully to his message. 7 Many people there had bad spirits, which were living in them. Philip sent the bad spirits out of those people. As the spirits came out, they shouted loudly. Some other people had weak arms or legs, and some people could not walk well. Philip caused many of them to become well again. 8 As a result, the people in that city were very happy.

8:6The Holy Spirit lived in Philip. He helped Philip to speak in a powerful way. Because of this Philip could do these special things for the people.

9 A man called Simon lived in that city. For a long time, he had used magic to do great things. All the people who lived in Samaria were very surprised at what he did. Simon told everyone that he was a very important person. 10 All the people in the city watched Simon carefully. This included the people who were important and all the other people too. Everyone said, ‘This man has great power that comes from God.’ 11 Simon had used his magic for a long time and he had surprised them all very much. Because of that, they listened to him carefully. 12 But then Philip told them the good news about the kingdom of God. He told them the message about God's Messiah, Jesus. Many men and women believed Philip's message, so he baptized them. 13 Simon also believed and Philip baptized him too. After this, Simon stayed near to Philip. He was very surprised at the powerful miracles which Philip did.

14 The apostles who were in Jerusalem heard about all this. They heard that many people in Samaria had believed God's word. So they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When these two apostles arrived in Samaria, they prayed for the people who now believed in Jesus. They asked God to give the new believers the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come to any of these people. When Philip had baptized them, he had just used the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 So Peter and John put their hands on the head of each believer, and they each received the Holy Spirit.

18 Simon saw that God gave the Holy Spirit to people when the apostles put their hands on them. So he said to Peter and John, ‘Here is some money for you. 19 Please give me this same power. I want to put my hands on other people, so that they will receive the Holy Spirit.’

20 Peter answered Simon, ‘I pray that God will destroy you and your money! You think that you can buy this gift with your money! It is very wrong for you to think that. It is God who gives that gift. 21 You cannot do the work which we are doing. God knows that you are not thinking the right things. 22 You must turn away from those very bad thoughts. Turn to the Lord and pray that he will forgive you. Then perhaps he will forgive you for these bad thoughts. 23 You are very upset because you are jealous. I can see that sin rules your life.’

24 Then Simon said to Peter and John, ‘Please, pray to the Lord God for me. Then none of these bad things that you have spoken about will happen to me.’

25 Peter and John told the people about the Lord Jesus and they spoke God's message to them. Then they returned to Jerusalem. On their way, they went through many villages in Samaria and they told the people the good news about Jesus.