18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
This passage is about a local magician who is attracting crowds, but who experiences the even greater power of those who are baptizing in the name of God. Recognizing that people are attracted to the Christian believers, the performer wants to get in on the action; he's even willing to pay for it.
There are so many people in the world who would use the name of God for personal gain. And many do. But the original apostles, the ones that followed the power of the Holy Spirit were insistent that the Gospel message was not about personal gain. It wasn't about making money. It wasn't about simply getting people to follow you.
Instead, the message was about changing lives by refocusing on the things that truly matter. How do we understand our own faith? Is it just a way to get something good for ourselves, or is it a part of a personal transformation through the spirit of God?