PAUL, THE MISSIONARY TO FOREIGN LANDS.
While at Antioch the 2d time, Paul received the call that started him upon his great missionary journeys into Asia Minor and Europe, which earned for him the title of “Apostle to the Gentiles.”
As certain ones of the church “ministered to the Lord, and fasted,” they were commanded by the Holy Spirit to set apart Paul and Barnabas for a special work (Acts 13:2).
Acts 13:3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
This was done, accompanied by solemn fasting and prayer; then, directed by the Holy Spirit, those apostles set out upon the 1st Missionary Journey, accompanied by John Mark
(vs 3, 5).
Hnd 13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Hnd 13:5 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.NEY
FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY
Going to Seleucia, which was Antioch’s seaport, some 16 mi. (c. 25.5 km.) from that city, they took ship to the island of Cyprus (Acts 13:4).
Cyprus. What did Paul do after landing at Salamis in the east coast of Cyprus? He visited the Jewish synagogues and began preaching. (Acts 13:5)
This was a custom of Paul throughout his ministry. On a Sabbath he was in church.
They traversed the island from east to west, and came to the city of Paphos. What happened there?.
Acts 13:6 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,
Paphos was the headquarters of the Roman proconsul, or *governor, of the island—Sergius Paulus, a man of sense and discernment. How is he described?
Acts 13:7 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.
Sergius Paulus was attended by a certain Jew named Bar-Jesus, or Elymas, who was a charlatan and a sorcerer (vs 6, 8).
Hnd 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
The governor heard of the preaching of Paul and Barnabas and, wishing to hear the gospel, sent for them (v 7). Fearful of losing any influence he might have had over Sergius Paulus,
Bar-Jesus opposed the apostles in the presence of the governor (v 8), whereupon Paul (it is here that he is for the 1st time called “Paul”), “filled with the Holy Ghost,” fixed his eyes intently upon the sorcerer.
He bitterly condemned him for misrepresenting and opposing God, and predicted that he would be temporarily blind. The prediction was instantaneously fulfilled (Acts 13:9–11).
Hnd 13:9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
Hnd 13:10 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?
Hnd 13:11 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.
This remarkable incident convinced the governor of the truth of the gospel, and he accepted it (v 12).
Hnd 13:12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.