Daily Word

Philip to Samaria | Acts 8:4-8

4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil[a] spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:4-8 (NLT) 中文

Persecution started

The previous passage documents the start of the major persecution of this early, fledgling church. Steven has been martyred and the persecution is spreading. Many are fleeing Jerusalem for other areas in Judea and Samaria. And Saul was introduced. He will become the central figure of the rest of the book. And Luke, the author, will accompany Paul on his missionary journeys.

Philip to Samaria

One of those who scattered due to persecution was Philip. The first thing to clarify is which Philip. There was Philip who, along with Stephen, was one of the first deacons of the early church (Acts 6:5). Another Philip was an apostle of Jesus (Acts 1:12-14). 

“Philip was apparently a Hellenistic Jew like Stephen. He was Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven (cf. 6:5), not the Philip who was one of the Twelve. He traveled north from Jerusalem to Samaria and followed Jesus’ example of taking the gospel to the Samaritans (cf. John 4).” (planobiblechapel.org)


Jesus had intentionally gone to Samaria (John 4). His disciples had tried to steer him clear of such a “wretched” place – for the Jews hated the Samaritans (and vice versa). But Jesus went. There was a woman there who needed to hear the Gospel and take it to her town. What happened after that we don’t have much detail. However, it seems Jesus’ demonstration of love and concern took hold, for these people were willing to listen to Philip share the Gospel.

Signs and wonders

Philip had a gift of evangelism along with a gift of healing. He used them for the sake and benefit of the Gospel quite effectively. Many in Samaria came to faith as he preached and did miracles – healing the sick and casting out demons. Great joy resulted.


  • Jesus told His disciples in John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” This was in response to Philip’s earlier request to see the Father. Now, Philip is fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy. How about us? If we believe in Jesus, can we do greater works like these? [Note: Jesus likely meant greater in number since all the believers are spreading out in Judea and Samaria. ] 
  • Have to ask…are there groups or types of people that we won’t associate with – not even to take the Gospel to them? Take a moment to let the Spirit search your heart. Repent and ask God to give you His heart for those people. Who knows, there could be a “Saul” among them waiting to hear the Good News.
Samaritan woman and Jesus. Image from pxfuel.com *

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