In Acts chapter 8, we learn that Phillip went down to the city of Samaria to preach Christ unto them. The people gave heed to what Phillip taught because they saw the miracles which he did. It was a glorious time where the power of God trumped the forces of the evil one time and time again.
Before Phillip, the person who controlled Samaria was Simon. He used sorcery and bewitched the people by saying he was some great one. Because Simon had been controlling the people for a long time, with one accord they adored him and worshipped him as a messenger from God.
Amazingly, Simon himself believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was baptized. He hung out with Phillip and stood in awe of the mighty things he did and the miracles he was able to perform.
Peter and John were sent to Samaria because although the people had been saved and were baptized, the Holy Spirit had not “fallen” on any of them. Peter and John laid hands on the people and they received into manifestation the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw this take place, he went to Peter and John and offered them money in return for having the same power to lay hands on people and have the Holy Spirit “fall” on them. Needless to say, this request did not go over well with Peter. In Acts 8:20-23 we see Peter's response:
“But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish (rot) with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Peter let it be known in no uncertain terms that the power of God is NOT for sale. Peter rebuked Simon and told him that he was bitterly enviously and in bondage to sin. Simon begged Peter to pray for him and we have to assume that he did.
It is indeed a hard thing for people to understand that the supernatural and stupendous things of Almighty God cannot be purchased at any price. In the world, a person can usually get whatever they want for a price. It is difficult for people to understand that all the money in the world cannot buy an ounce of God's power, a sliver of His love or one tiny miracle. Neither God nor His power is for sale.
As always, Blessings 2 You!