Simon and the New Program

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[In my crawl through Acts, I finally broke free from chapter seven (Stephen’s speech), and am now starting to think about chapter eight. Why did Luke tell the story of Simon? How does that story fit in the bigger story? I REALLY DON’T KNOW YET. Some time ago, I concluded that one of Luke’s (the writer) main themes is “The Fruit of Generosity.” So, in the following trial gloss, I’m starting to consider how Simon’s story might further the theme.]


Simon liked attention, and he lived in a city where people paid attention. They were impressed with his power. One can assume he parlayed this power into personal prosperity. Philip came along, announcing and demonstrating a greater power. Like an MLM junkie, Simon jumped right into the new program. Then, to advance quickly to the pinnacle of his new pyramid, he proposed to purchase power from the apostles. The apostles rebuked him: “This program isn’t what you’re used to. It was developed by a God who gives freely, generously, sincerely, and at a high cost to himself. Those who enter the program are empowered alright—they’re empowered to follow God’s example. Don’t insult God. Get with the program!”

— Brad Hepp, 9/21/2023

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