So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 1And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
Ministry is not easy. As young men and women step into full time ministry, I often wonder if they realize the responsibility they have to God, the opposition and temptations they will receive from the enemy, and the pressure they will receive from carnal Christians to be worldly. Yes, there are great blessings, but yes, there are great trials. The early believers understood the hardships of ministry.
The Spirit leads Barnabas and Saul (and John Mark) through Seleucia sailing to the island of Cyprus. They preached in the Synagogues of Salamis and made their way through the island. In Paphos, the deputy or governor of the country named Sergius Paulus, wanted to hear God’s Word. Now Paphos was a center for the worship of Aphrodite, which meant all kinds of immorality was going on in this city. A sorcerer named Barjesus or Elymas (same guy, different names depending on Greek or Hebrew) determined to turn Serguis Paulus away from the faith. Saul, now being called Paul (Saul being the Hebrew name and Paul being the Roman name) curses him and Elymas loses his eyesight. The Governor believes and receives Jesus. And John Mark was watching….
And don’t we wish sometimes that God would do that to some people that stand in the way of the Gospel? I have a few neighbors that my husband and I are pursuing hard for the gospel. Other philosophies and/or philosophers are turning them away from the faith and I’m praying that God will make His way clear. Who are you pursuing for Christ?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
To contact Kaye Dee, leave a comment, message us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.