I'm tidying up my Acts notes to try to finish the Acts book this weekend. Here are my transformed notes on Simon the sorcerer:
"... The incident with Simon the sorcerer is interesting. Although he is not an opponent to Christianity in Acts, history would remember him as the beginning of all false Christian teaching, what is called, “heresy.”
"Simon must surely have been someone well known. Luke seems to want his audience to know that Simon had been out-miracled and outclassed by Philip. Simon was not quite a believer, the archetype of the stereotypical televangelist who is more interested in putting on a show and making money than truly following Christ.
"It is a sobering thought, to think of how close he came to believing and then apparently how bad an influence on faith he later seems to have had. We cannot absolutely control the spiritual destinies of others, because God in the end gives us all the choice. But it is staggering to think of the influence we can have on people’s destinies and how careful we should be.
"Think of all the children who have passed through our churches or that pass through schools where Christians teach. How sobering it is later in life to look back and realize how those little guys and gals we had under our teaching for a short moment went on into life. Some go on to be great. Some go on to live lives of ruin. Many go on to live faithful, Christian lives.
"But how sobering it is to think of the responsibility! Our words, our actions can sow seeds that blossom into faith. They can also sow seeds of discontent and discord. God gives them the ultimate choice, and God can work around us when we mess up. But it is important to take seriously the task of discipleship that we all play in the lives of others..."