Day 2 Read: Acts 8:5-8
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.
Reflect: Why were the Samaritans attentive to Philip? What actions did he perform? How did these acts validate his ministry?
Consider: Ultimately, it was the gospel they responded to, not the miracles (v. 12). Miracles can assist faith but never can be a substitute for it. When the miraculous assumes priority, it can actually become a hindrance to faith. (Nowhere is that more clearly evident than in the story of Simon that follows.) The paragraph on Philip’s witness ends on a note of joy. Compare the similar note on the Ethiopian’s joy at his baptism (v. 39). The gospel is the great equalizer. In the gospel, there are no “half-breeds,” no physical rejects, no place for any human prejudices. There is acceptance for all, joy for all, “great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).2
Respond: Read verse 8. What was the result of Philip’s faithfulness? How could the Lord use you, if you went outside your comfort zone to share the gospel?
2 John B. Polhill, Acts, vol. 26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 215.