Shortly after Barnabas and Saul were called to set out on a missionary journey to Cyprus, they came to Salamis, a city on the east coast of the Greek island. There, they would spread the gospel of the risen Christ and confront false teachers as part of the fulfillment of God’s perfect plan.
“4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.” (Acts 13:4-5)
From Antioch, where they were set apart and appointed a missionary role, Barnabas, Saul and John traveled to Seleucia, an important Greek city on the Tigris river with a population approaching a half million people.
For a day or so, the missionaries sailed about 50 miles to the island of Cyprus where they were led to preach the gospel and share the truth about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ at Jewish synaguoges throughout the city.
“6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.” (Acts 13:6-7)
Cyprus was about 130 miles long by 50 miles wide. The missionaries traveled across the island, from its eastern port, Salamis to the capital on the west coast, Paphos where they encountered a sorcerer with many names, one of which was Bar-Jesus which means “Son of Jesus.”
Both Barnabas and Saul would be invited to share their message of love and the truth about the true King of kings, the Lord of all.
“8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:8-10)
The missionaries faced many obstacles on their journey, here it would be the sorcerer who battled the Holy Spirit through an opposition to the truth, as the false prophet feared he would lose his influence over Sergius Paulus, the capital’s proconsul.
“11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” (Acts 13:11-12)
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, and led by the mighty hand of God, Saul rebuked the sorcerer. Immediately, the false teacher lost his sight. When he witnessed this, the proconsul, astonished, believed in the gospel taught by Barnabas and Saul.
God used Saul, whose Roman name was Paul to perform a miracle by which Sergius Paulus was saved, and born again of faith in Jesus, the risen Christ. Both men would continue their missionary journey, making disciples and leading many to Christ in the name of the Lord, Jesus. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre