4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
Some have speculated that the new movement of Jesus’ followers might never have left the city of Jerusalem if the persecution had not broken out against them. There were many among the Jesus followers who were not originally from Jerusalem but had come for the Feast of Pentecost, responded to the preaching of the Apostles and remained in the city to become part of this new movement. The persecution following Stephen’s martyrdom changed all of that. Luke, the author of Acts, chooses to show us that the first place people go when they scattered was the closest place, Samaria. The people of Samaria were an ancient enemy of the Jewish people and a near neighbor. Sometimes the most difficult place to go, is the place closest to you, especially if you are going to tell the story of how Jesus changed your life (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring rest to you right now.