Acts 13:4–12 (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had
gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil,
you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately
mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
see Saul and Barnabas traveling and evangelizing. John was also with them some of the time. They run into some resistance through a magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, also known at Elymas. With this false prophet was a proconsul
named Sergius Paulus, who was described as a man of intelligence. The proconsul was converted, but not the magician. It is interesting to note that the Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, his name has been found on an inscription in Rome. He is not
made up, but a real, verifiable person in history. The false prophet tried to convince the proconsul to not convert. This presents a problem to Saul, and even a problem to us today. People are either for Jesus Christ, or they are against
him. Sometimes you have to call them on it. We are too afraid of hurting people’s feelings, so we don’t want to offend others. Saul, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, calls the magician out and says “You son of the devil,
you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.”
The proconsul immediately became blind. I have come across a man who has twisted the scriptures to such a point that he is no longer welcome in my Bible Studies. He is someone who showed up one day and he has his own agenda. I have never
had to ask someone to not come back, but this man I did. I run into him at least every three months and we talk. He is still stuck on his false agenda and he tells me he is still out preaching his Gospel. By the way, he does not believe in
Jesus. I have not written him off, but I will not let him bring his false teachings into the church or bible studies. I will still continue to speak to him, but he still has not changed. I pray for this man, that the Holy Spirit will convict
and convert him.
I pray: O Lord, help me to continue to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. Help me to discern when people are working for you and when they are working against you.
Help me to call them out rather than to hold back fear of hurting them and letting them hurt the congregation. Let your Word prevail. Amen.