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The persecution of the church becomes more widespread and organized with Saul as a leading persecutor. One of Stephen’s fellow helpers from chapter 6 is Philip. He preaches in Samaria and to an Ethiopian. This means the message of Jesus has crossed racial barriers. Samaritans were Israelites who had intermarried with non-Israelites and did not practice the same form of the Jewish religion as those in Jerusalem. The Ethiopian was a convert to Judaism, but was probably black or at least darker skinned.

Like Ananias and Sapphira, Simon wants to personally gain from his relationship with Christ and is dealt with harshly for his mistake.

Early on in the story of the church, it is established that the church was not to be limited to those of one race. The church has spread to many places and people groups since that day, but the job is still not done. Jesus is for everyone. We may still struggle with accepting those who are different from us, but that is not God’s design.