January 04, 2021 – Monday
Acts 13:10-12 NIV
10 You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
When this happened Saul and Barnabas had traveled through the island of Cyprus to the city of Paphos. 6 There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, our verses for the day.
What struck you about the verses above, including our verses of the day? Do you think the proconsul came to believe because Elymas, the sorcerer and false prophet was struck blind? Or do you think he came to believe because of the teaching of the Lord? Or perhaps you think it was some combination of the two?
Before we decide upon an answer, let’s consider Guzik’s comment about Elymas being struck blind, we can’t help but think Paul would remember his own experience with God. Paul was struck blind at his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:9). Certainly, those who resist God are blind spiritually, so God just gave Elymas a physical blindness that matched his spiritual blindness. Sadly, we never hear of Elymas repenting, as Paul did.
I do not know the answer to the question of why the proconsul came to believe. However, I do accept what the scripture tells us. For while he saw what happened to Elymas, it was not the cause for him to believe. Instead, the verse reads, When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. He was amazed at the teaching about the Lord and that should come as no surprise for no religion or belief system had ever revealed a God who loved His creation so much, He would send His Son to die for mankind’s sins. The gospel of Jesus was a game changer of enormous proportion. Of course the miracle of striking Elymas blind likely had some impact, perhaps changing “I believe.” To “I believe!” But it was the power of the gospel message brought about the “I believe” in the first place.
We should not be surprised by this as the gospel message alone over many centuries has been more than sufficient to bring many to Christ. Yes, there are still miracles but most of them are in our lives. The miracles are how are lives are changed so much by the internal change to a belief and faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are no longer the same people we used to be. We may still have the same fingerprints, but if they could take our spiritual fingerprints – as God can – they would not be the same. Thus I am thankful for this example in scripture where it was the gospel of Jesus that brough the proconsul to faith.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank you that we can hear the wonderful miraculous message of the gospel of Your Son and what was done for us. Your love knows no boutnds. – In Jesus name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton