Scripture: vs 6-12

[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.

 

Observations:

Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, was the governor of a Roman province and therefore had a lot of power.  He was a good person for Satan to attack because of his influence on the people he governed.

 

Given that he had a false prophet hanging out with the him, it seems that Sergius Paulus probably had some other bad people hanging around as we;;.  But he was still driven to ask for Saul and Barnabus so he could hear the word of God.  He was seeking.

 

Saul (Paul), was not about to let someone under Satan’s influence get in the way of sharing the Word, and rebuked false prophet with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Just aside that it seems kind of ironic that Paul, through the power of the Spirit, blinded Bar-Jesus, since this was the same thing Jesus did to him to bring him to his knees to realize who Jesus really was.  Only Paul did it to Bar-Jesus, not to save Bar-Jesus, but to wake up the influential proconsul, who was seeking to know more.

 

Then, as powerful a statement as it was to see the false prophet blinded, the proconsul did not believe only because of that act, “he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord”.  He was more amazed at the Word he heard through Paul, than the act he saw.

 

Application:

We may not have the influence that a governor of a Roman province had, but we still have significant influence on others around us.  We are teachers, greeters, receptionists, doctors, nurses, and leaders of all sorts.  We have families and each family member has a sphere of influence.  So, we are just as much a prize for Satan as the proconsul would have been.  Keep that in mind as you are surrounded by others and get attacks from the evil one.

 

Do, or did, we have Bar-Jesus around us trying to influence us and keep us from Jesus or from trying to prevent us from sharing the Gospel with others?

We don’t need the sensationalism of blinding someone in God’s name in order to wake them up so they will be open to our sharing of the Good News.  The Gospel is amazing just as it is.  So don’t wait for something sensational to happen in order to share the Gospel in your sphere of influence.  Start by sharing the Good News as it applies to you and rest will follow.

 

Prayer:

Lord use me to share the Gospel.  If anyone tries to prevent me from sharing Your Word, help with Your power to totally minimize their influence on me and others.  I know the time is now Jesus.  I don’t need anything sensational to tell others about You and how You’ve changed my life.  Push me, shove me, get me moving.  In Jesus mighty name I pray, amen.

 

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