April 13, 2023 – Thursday
Acts 13:12 NIV
12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
This is during the initial phase of the apostle Paul’s first missionary journey. With him are Barnabas and John Mark (who wrote the book of Mark). They left the church at Antioch, went to the port city of Seleucia, then to the large island of Cyprus. There they first went to the eastern port city of Salamis and traveled to the western port city of Paphos where they met the proconsul of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus.
Being a proconsul was an important position as a Roman proconsul was in charge of a province, answering to the Roman Senate. A further note from Guzik, “All Roman provinces were divided into two classes, those that required troops and those that did not. The latter were administered by the Senate and ruled by proconsuls; the former were under the administration of the emperor.” (Williams) Sergius Paulus governed from the city of Paphos. It was well known for its immorality, famous for its worship of Venus, the goddess of love, sexual love.
When Paul, Barnabas and John Mark met the proconsul, 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. This strongly implies what they were telling the proconsul about Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection was moving him to the faith. It was then Paul became extremely upset with the sorcerer. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 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.
This of course leads us to our verse for today, 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Take a close look at this verse, for it was not just what had happened with the sorcerer that resulted in the proconsul believing. That was what happened after he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Proclaiming the good news of Jesus the Christ is often more than enough for someone to believe. And here you had Paul who when he was Saul had had a personal encounter with Jesus and John Mark who was one of the twelve disciples.
Today we get to hear them as well through the written word in the Bible if we will only take the time to take it off the shelf, blow the dust off, and read it. It’s all there just waiting on us. By the way, inscriptions have been found on Cyprus showing conclusively that the proconsul and his family became followers of Christ.
Bottom Line: Always be ready to share the word of God. It is more powerful than you might imagine. Remember always Galatians 5:6, 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Share the word and your faith in love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for showing us how powerful sharing Your word can be in addressing even those in power. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton