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28th June 2015
Sometimes when I take my boys to see Gillingham football club, they are so busy eating their sweets that they miss the rare occasion when a Gillingham player scores a goal! They’re so distracted that they miss the main event.
We see a similar thing happening with Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-25. Simon was amazed at the miracles – and we can probably all understand that. He was a magician himself and we read that many people were amazed at what he did. But then Philip turned up and preached Jesus, and someone greater than Simon turned up! People responded to Jesus and were baptised. It says that even Simon believed and was baptised. But he was so amazed at the signs and wonders that he missed the One to whom they were pointing.
Whether or not Simon was a Christian is unknown. It says that he believed and was baptised, but Peter’s rebuke seems to imply he wasn’t. It is possible to show some signs of responding to Jesus but to then not bear the fruit that is to be expected when someone is following Jesus.
Jesus said that not everyone who called Him Lord is actually saved (Matthew 7:21). Peter rebuked Simon and told him to repent from his ways – repentance is a transformation of how we think about God and how we think about ourselves: it is a change of mind that leads to a change of behaviour. When we are genuinely captivated by Jesus, we bear the fruit of that.
We could conclude that we’d better not do signs and wonders because people can easily be distracted from Jesus by them. Not at all! The Church is meant to be supernatural – it’s meant to be full of the Holy Spirit, the place where the sick are healed and the oppressed are set free.
There are lots of things in our church that point to Jesus, but if you’re coming on Sundays for the great kids work, for the sense of community, for the way we care for the poor, for the style of worship, for healings and miracles – these are all good things, they’re awesome, but they’re not as awesome as Jesus. They all just point to Jesus.
Simon should’ve looked at where the miracles were pointing and seen the glorious Saviour, Jesus Christ. He should have been captivated by Jesus Christ enthroned above all else. He should have been amazed at Jesus coming in human form, dying for the sins of the world and rising again. The cross should have amazed Simon – he should have realised that Jesus died for him, in his place, to take away his guilt.
There are countless things that Simon could have marvelled at, but he missed it. Simon’s amazement finished at the miracles, but they’re only the start. Jesus will amaze us for all eternity. The apostle Paul wrote: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8)
Do you? Are you amazed at Jesus? Are you captivated by Him?
Posted by Paul Mann