Acts 8:14
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John:
8:14-25 The Holy Ghost was as yet fallen upon none of these coverts, in the extraordinary powers conveyed by the descent of the Spirit upon the day of Pentecost. We may take encouragement from this example, in praying to God to give the renewing graces of the Holy Ghost to all for whose spiritual welfare we are concerned; for that includes all blessings. No man can give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of his hands; but we should use our best endeavours to instruct those for whom we pray. Simon Magus was ambitious to have the honour of an apostle, but cared not at all to have the spirit and disposition of a Christian. He was more desirous to gain honour to himself, than to do good to others. Peter shows him his crime. He esteemed the wealth of this world, as if it would answer for things relating to the other life, and would purchase the pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. This was such a condemning error as could by no means consist with a state of grace. Our hearts are what they are in the sight of God, who cannot be deceived. And if they are not right in his sight, our religion is vain, and will stand us in no stead. A proud and covetous heart cannot be right with God. It is possible for a man to continue under the power of sin, yet to put on a form of godliness. When tempted with money to do evil, see what a perishing thing money is, and scorn it. Think not that Christianity is a trade to live by in this world. There is much wickedness in the thought of the heart, its false notions, and corrupt affections, and wicked projects, which must be repented of, or we are undone. But it shall be forgiven, upon our repentance. The doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon's repentance, not of his pardon, if his repentance was sincere. Grant us, Lord, another sort of faith than that which made Simon wonder only, and did not sanctify his heart. May we abhor all thoughts of making religion serve the purposes of pride or ambition. And keep us from that subtle poison of spiritual pride, which seeks glory to itself even from humility. May we seek only the honour which cometh from God.They sent - That is, the apostles "deputed" two of their number. This shows conclusively that there was no "chief" or ruler among them. They acted as being equal in authority. The reason why they sent Peter and John was probably that there would be a demand for more labor than Philip could render; a church was to be founded, and it was important that persons of experience and wisdom should be present to organize it, and to build it up. The "harvest" had occurred in Samaria, of which the Saviour spoke John 4:35, and it was proper that they should enter into it. In times of revival there is often more to be done than can be done by the regular servant of a people, and it is proper that he should be aided from abroad.

Peter - This shows that "Peter" had no such authority and primacy as the Roman Catholics claim for him. He exercised no authority in "sending" others, but was himself "sent." He was appointed by their united voice, instead of claiming the power himself of directing "them."

And John - Peter was ardent, hold, zealous, rash; John was mild, gentle, tender, persuasive. There was wisdom in uniting them in this work, as the talents of both were needed; and the excellencies in the character of the one would compensate for the defects of the other. It is observable that the apostles sent "two" together, as the Saviour had himself done. See the notes on Mark 6:7.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem,.... Not that there were some at Jerusalem, and some elsewhere; for they all tarried at Jerusalem, when the rest of the ministers of the word were scattered abroad; though it is possible, that by this time, some of them might have departed from hence; but it seems more probable, that they were as yet all here: these

heard that Samaria had received the word of God; that is, they heard that the Samaritans, who only received the five books of Moses, and that not the Hebrew, but their own copy of them, now received not only the whole Bible, but the Gospel of Christ, as preached by Philip; which they might hear by a letter, or messengers sent from Philip to them, to acquaint them with the success of the Gospel; or from some persons, who had been in those parts: upon which

they sent unto them Peter and John: who were not only fellow apostles, but very familiar and intimate companions; these they sent to confirm the doctrine of Philip, and establish the young converts in it, and to form them into a Gospel church state, and ordain ministers over them.

{7} Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

(7) Peter, not chief but as an ambassador sent from the whole company of the apostles, and John his companion, according to the authority which was committed unto them, strengthen, encourage, and build up the churches of Samaria, whose foundation had been laid before by Philip.


The country, not the city. See Acts 8:5, Acts 8:9.

14-17. the apostles … sent Peter and John—showing that they regarded Peter as no more than their own equal.The word of God - The doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They sent unto them Peter and John - There was no individual ruler among the apostles - there was not even a president of the council; and Peter, far from being chief of the apostles, is one of those sent, with the same commission and authority as John, to confirm the Samaritans in the faith.

8:14 And the apostles hearing that Samaria - The inhabitants of that country, had received the word of God - By faith, sent Peter and John - He that sends must be either superior, or at least equal, to him that is sent. It follows that the college of the apostles was equal if not superior to Peter. 8:14 The apostles... received the word of God. They had remained at Jerusalem. The word reached them of Philip's faithful work. Christ had directed that the gospel be carried to Jerusalem, and unto Judea, and unto Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Ac 1:8). In this order it had been carried to Samaria and been received. The preacher sent there was not an apostle. He had miraculous powers, but could not confer them. It seemed needful, now that the gospel was accepted by a new people, not Jewish, that spiritual gifts, such as had been given to the apostles on the day of Pentecost and imparted through them to others, should be bestowed upon this alien nation. Observe, (1) when the Jews first had the gospel on the day of Pentecost these gifts were imparted by the descent of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:2-4); (2) when the Samaritans were converted these were imparted by the presence of the apostles (Ac 8:17); (3) when the first Gentiles were converted, an apostle being present, they were imparted (Ac 10:44-47). There is no record of their impartation, save in or by apostolic presence. See Ro 1:11.

Sent to them Peter and John. This is positive proof that Peter was not a pope. The body which sends is superior to the one sent. He and John go at the bidding of which the whole apostolic body. This is the last mention of John in Acts.

Acts 8:13
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