Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
For unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks were coming out of many who were possessed, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8.7-8
After the death of Stephen in Acts 7.54-60, a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem. All, except the apostles, were forced to leave Jerusalem and were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. Everywhere they went, they shared the good news of the word.
Philip had gone to the main city in Samaria. He was preaching about the Christ. The crowds were paying attention to him with one mind. They could see the miraculous things that he was doing and there was great joy in the city.
Simon, a magician, also believed in Philip’s message and was baptized. He was amazed at the miracles that were happening. When he realized that the power of the Holy Spirit was passed on by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money to receive this power to pass on the Holy Spirit to others. He was sharply rebuked by Peter who told him to repent of his sin for his heart was not right with God.
The ability of Philip and others to heal the paralyzed and lame, as well as to be able to free a person of an unclean spirit brought great joy to those in the city. The miraculous gifts confirmed the words that Philip was preaching!