Our lesson this week covers Acts, Chapter 8, which is brimming with amazing stories. With the persecution of the early Church, many of the disciples scatter to the regions of Judea and Samaria, just at Christ commanded in Acts 1:8. Sharon enlightens us about the history of Samaria, because understanding the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans is vital to understanding many stories of the Bible. Sharon goes on to review some of the most profound teachings of Christ that occur in the region of Samaria: the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and the healing of ten lepers (Luke 17). From there, we learn more about the curious character of Simon the magician. Simon, after seeing the signs and great miracles worked by Philip the deacon, comes to belief in Christ and is baptized. Yet, his conversion is tenuous, and almost immediately he is rebuked by Peter for attempting to purchase the apostolic power of laying hands. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we receive this terrific teaching about the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation, whose origins are found in this dynamic chapter. Finally, the lecture builds to a crescendo with the beautiful story of the Ethiopian eunuch, who reads from Isaiah and asks the question so many of us continue to ask today: “How can I understand this unless someone guides me?” While once an outcast under Mosaic Law, this emasculated man is now welcomed into the universal new covenant of Christ through the sacrament of Baptism.
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Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.
“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:www.seekingtruth.net