I've mentioned before that The Message is a great version of the Bible just for reading; it twists your view ever so slightly so that you see things you've never noticed before.
Last night, I have to admit, the version shocked me. I was reading in Acts 8 about how the former pagan magician/wizard-cum-Christian Simon was enamored of all the miracles being performed by the apostles Peter and John, and how he offered them money in exchange for the ability to lay hands on others to give them the Holy Spirit.
Most of us are familiar with the traditional rendering of Peter's response: "May your money perish with you...".
Stop for a moment. Let that soak in.
Now read it from The Message: "To hell with your money! And you along with it."
My first response was shock. And then, as I realized that's exactly what Peter had said, laughter, not at the seriousness of the situation, but at how blind I've been to the seriousness of the situation. Once again, The Message enlivens the Word of God so that it's not just black text on a white background. This was real life, and Peter was serious about the offense made by Simon.
Praise be to God that Simon apparently cleaned up his act. I've never thought much more about Simon, except that he was sleazy. Now, after reading this text, I like to think that Simon started growing up at that point, and within a few years, was a lighthouse on a hill displaying to the world the glory of God.