“When Simon (the sorcerer) 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.’ ” (Acts 8:18-19)
Simon, the sorcerer, was impressed with signs and wonders. He was making a living through sorcery. He saw the apostles performing a sign that he wanted to possess. It is not clear as to what the sign was that the apostles bestowed through the laying on of hands, possibly speaking in tongues, but it was impressive. It is clear that Simon didn’t get the gift, but he wanted to bestow it. He was thinking only of his own livelihood, not in any way as a servant of God. Peter rebuked Simon for wanting to buy the gift of God.
In reading the accounts of Scripture and talking with other Christians it becomes clear that God does some amazing things in people’s lives. He does miracles, signs, healings, conversions, and many other transformational things. God is about changing lives however He can. We praise Him for how He has drawn us into His Forever Family. But, we never think that there is some way we can earn such, or purchase such gifts. They are freely given, and we rejoice in receiving them through our trusting Jesus as our Savor and Lord.
Heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You never fail to impress us. In many ways You touch our lives to draw us to Yourself. You also use us to draw others to you. You might even bestow signs and miracles through us. This is all Your doing and to Your Glory. We claim no part of what You do through us, but just praise You that we can be used in such ways. Continue to use us to Your glory.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.