Philip was not preaching the gospel and performing signs and miracles for his own edification and profit. This courageous man of God was risking his life in order to offer salvation to the lost and healing to broken men and women and bring glory to God.
When Simon observed the apostles laying hands on people and their being filled with the Holy Spirit, he offered to pay them for this power and authority. Peter strongly rebuked him. Simon’s story reminds us that God’s work is miraculous, not magical. It cannot be manipulated by special words or ritualistic formulas, but it also reminds us that God uses men and women of moral character and spiritual courage.
Simon could see the immense power manifested in Philip’s life. it is no wonder that Simon, who had spent his life seeking to perform such miracles, was impressed by what he observed.
While men and women may look at the outward, God always looks at the heart. When God rejected King Saul and sent Samuel to anoint a new king, the Prophet thought that Jesse’s son Eliab must be the man God had chosen based on his appearance and stature. But God said to Samuel, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1Sa 16:7 KJV
Simon believe in Philip’s God, he had acted on that belief. But the question, however, was whether he was willing to follow Christ Jesus and live for the glory of God or try to use this power only for his own benefit.
The lesson is very clear, God can and does release great power through the Holy Spirit. God can use you and me to accomplish great things for the kingdom. God will always look at our heart as we desire His power, wealth, healing and all he can offer.
Simon’s story reminds us that making a commitment to Jesus Christ is the only beginning of our Christian journey. Being justified and forgiven by God is the foundation upon which we build our life with Christ Jesus. Having been saved, we are called to grow in Christian maturity. The gospel is good news for those who do not always get it right.