Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Persecutions Are Coming

  • The same day Stephen is killed, the baddies start persecuting other Christians, too.
  • Everyone, except the main apostles, makes a run for it to avoid meeting the same rock-hurling fate as Stephen.
  • Saul is one of the ringleaders of all this. He's having people arrested left and right all on account of them being followers of Jesus.
  • Whoa. Saul is a real jerk.

Adventures In Samaria

  • Philip (one of the newly appointed seven) makes his way over to Samaria. There he starts preaching the good word about Jesus, healing people, and exorcising demons and all kinds of evil spirits. Philip has got the goods.
  • Everyone in the area is pretty impressed.
  • He runs into a guy in Samaria named Simon. Simon is kind of a big deal in Samaria. He goes around town doing all kinds of magic.
  • Just think of him as a first-century Criss Angel.
  • Even Simon is impressed by the wonders Philip is able to produce, so he decides to be baptized and start following Jesus too. Cool, right?
  • Kind of. The apostles hear about the headway Philip is making in Samaria, so they send in the big guns, Peter and John to help out.
  • Peter and John pray for the Samarians who converted to receive the Holy Spirit. They put their hands on them and—poof—they have the Spirit. Hallelujah!
  • Simon is pretty darn impressed by this, too. He comes up Peter and offers to pay him if he can give him a share of that sweet Holy Spirit summoning power. Will $50 be enough?
  • Um, no! Peter tells him that you can't buy yourself into God's good graces! Simon better start praying for forgiveness now, because dude has got some wicked thoughts in his head.
  • Simon seems pretty frightened and he asks the apostles to pray for him. We're hoping they did… for Simon's sake.
  • After they stay in Samaria for a while spreading the good news, Peter and John head back to Jerusalem. Ciao, Samaria!

Philip Helps A Eunuch

  • Meanwhile, an angel of the Lord tells Philip that he should take a little trip south.
  • On his way, he meets a eunuch who serves as the minister of finance to Ethiopia's Queen Candace. Oh, fancy.
  • The eunuch is on his way home from Jerusalem, when Philip comes across him and sees that he's reading Isaiah. That's a book Philip knows a thing or two about.
  • The eunuch invites Philip to travel with him and explain. He just so happens to be going over Isaiah 53:7-8. Isaiah says that someone will suffer and die, but who, oh who, could it be?
  • Luckily, Philip knows the answer—it's Jesus! (The answer is always Jesus.)
  • Apparently Philip is quite the evangelizer, because the eunuch is convinced and decides to be baptized in a river right there on the road.
  • Philip does the dunking, but when the eunuch comes up out of the water, Philip is gone. Weird.
  • Turns out the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away and sent him to Azotus and Caesarea to keep right on preaching the word. No rest for the weary disciple, we guess.