Open my eyes....
Open my eyes………
“Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” The Book of Acts.
Peter “judged” this man’s heart—-at least that’s what it looks like if you read about it in the book of Acts. Peter “called it like it was”, but note that it was not a personal attack stemming from jealousy or resentment or an injury to Peter. Peter’s anger and incredible discernment toward Simon was because of what Simon represented: i.e. the suggestion that we receive gifts from God for our own glory. Peter did not suffer gladly those that attempted to take advantage of, or harm the reputation of, the church. I wonder how he would respond to manner in which we preach the gospel from pulpits today? I wonder what remarks he would make to those that suggest “come worship and join us—-anything goes” oe “God is happy with you just like you are right now”, etc. What would he say tp the popular Christian authors whose faces are plastered on the front of their books—-always grinning and often suggesting that there’s a “secret way to succeed and get God’s favor”, etc.
Yes, Jesus said, “Do not judge or you will be judged”…. so what happened here? It seems that there are times when God’s Spirit does give us the discernment to see evil or something “dark” within another and call it for what it is. And within the body of Christ we ARE required to call things “right” or “wrong”. Pity a society that has no moral compass of up, down, right, wrong.
It’s risky to assume that you have the spiritual power to see another person’s heart to be sure, but this man (Simon) received the rebuke with the right heart and asked for prayer! Peter did a great service to Simon by setting him straight! How grateful Simon must have been that Peter had the fortitude to speak out!
What would Peter say to ME if the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to my heart—-and would be as gracious and grateful?