15 May. Acts 8:5-8

15 May. Philip spreads the message in Samaria

"Philip went to the city of Samaria [called Sebaste by the Romans] and preached about the Christ [the Messiah]. When the people there heard Philip and saw the miracles he was doing, they all listened carefully to what he said."

"Many of these people had evil spirits in them, but Philip made the evil spirits leave. The Spirits made a loud noise when they came out."

"Philip also healed many weak and crippled people there. So the people in that city were very happy."

          (Acts 8:5-8)



Philip followed the successful formula for bringing others to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Luke tells us that Philip's preaching was accompanied by 'signs and wonders' - miracles and healings in Jesus's name. It's a formula that's still effective in many churches today.

When we lived in Sheffield some years ago, we were asked to pray for a man who later admitted he'd been involved in sexual sins and was addicted to pornography. We prayed for the spirit of addiction to come out of him in Jesus's name.

After forcing the man to writhe on the floor like a snake, the spirit left him with a loud cry. After lying there motionless for a while, he slowly recovered with a big smile on his face. When we asked him if he was OK and how he felt, he smiled and said, "I feel clean." The following day in our service, he testified how Jesus had cast out his addiction and how he felt like a new person.

Such testimony brings others to know Christ as they ask Jesus to intervene in THEIR lives.

The city of Sebaste (originally the ancient capital of Israel, and then known as Samaria) had been rebuilt and renamed by Herod the Great in 25BC. The new name Sebaste – given in honour of the Roman Emperor – came from the Greek version (‘Sebastos’) of the Latin name ‘Augustus’ (meaning ‘majestic’ or ‘more than human’) – the title of the Roman emperor Octavian, who ordered the census to be taken in Judaea (according to Luke 2:1).

King Herod had colonised the city with six thousand veterans from his army of foreign soldiers who were from different parts of the Roman Empire. Herod authorised the building of many pagan temples including one dedicated to Augustus Caesar and Roma Aeterna, where offerings were made to the emperor and his seat of government, Rome (the ‘eternal city’).

Most of us probably know Samaria as the home city of the 'good Samaritan' in Jesus's story, and to Greek-speaking Jewish converts to "the Way of Jesus" it was the first obvious missionary field outside Hebrew-speaking Jerusalem.

The map shows Philip's Journeys as recorded by Luke in the 'Acts of the Apostles'.

You can read more about these journeys @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/7-journ…/philips-journeys/

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