13. Acts 8:1-25
A over a decade ago, when I was much younger, I would frequently go out to a local playground and play basketball in the warm months. Sometimes if the day was really nice there would be close to a hundred guys out playing at these courts and it could take an hour or more just waiting to play. It was like this one day when I went out and after watching for more than an hour I picked up on who were some of the better players. These guys were big and fast and could jump out of the gym, if we had actually been in one. There was a lot of talking and a few nose to nose confrontations maybe a couple shoves here and there, all in all a very typical day on the playground. There were a couple guys who were sorta controlling things either because they were very good players or could talk louder than anyone else. Their teams kept playing uncontested until this one guy showed up.
The first thing I noticed is that this guy didn't wait to play, when he walked up someone just walked off the court and let him take their spot. This guy was not very tall, maybe 6'0" or 6'1" at the most, but the first time he touched the ball he came right down the lane and over several much bigger guys dunked the ball with two hands. Now I was curious, "Who is this guy?" "Bubba-chuck." That's what they kept calling him. "Bubba-chuck." I still don't know what that means exactly, but I did finally realize that this guy was Allen Iverson. I even played on the same team with "Bubba-chuck." Later I realized that I could have been an NBA player because I was able to do the same things as his teammates in the NBA which is pass him the ball and watch him shoot. Anyway, ever since that day I have been an Iverson fan. I mean seeing him in person I realized that there are some people who pretend to be good and then there is the real deal. Believe me Iverson, whether you like him or not, is the real deal.
Acts chapter 8 has a similar cast. Simon the Sorcerer was well known in Samaria for his amazing magic tricks. He even had some people convinced that he had some divine power. Until the real deal showed up. Philip the evangelist came through town and did some real miracles. Philip displayed the power of God to the people of Samaria. For the first time these people witnessed the real deal and they were amazed. And they never looked at Simon the same again. It is hard to be impressed with a pretty good magician when you see the true power of God.
May we not be impressed with the two-bit hucksters that our culture elevates, but only with the true power of God.