Saul (Paul) Confronts a Sorcerer at Cyprus


Paul and Barnabas took another young man, John Mark, with them, and they sailed for the island of Cyprus, arriving on the eastern costal village of Salamis (v. 4). They went from synagogue to synagogue where they preached the Word of God (v. 5). Day after day they walked, stopping to preach and teach in many places, until they had traveled ninety miles to the west end of the island (v. 6). At their very last stop on the island, the governor heard about these strange men with a strange message from God, and sent for them. However, the governor had on his staff a fortune-teller called Elymas, who was a child of the devil (John 8:44) (vv. 7-8). Paul recognized that Satan was using Elymas to try to keep the governor from hearing the Gospel. Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul spoke out boldly, denouncing the false prophet and bringing blindness on the man by the power of God in divine judgment (vv. 9-11).

Elymas was so blinded that he could not even see the sunlight. When the governor saw this he was amazed at the power of God and said to them, “Now I believe that what you have been trying to tell me is true (v. 12).” The big question is - Was Servius Paulus converted? There is no evidence that there was a change of heart and life. From this point on Saul is called Paul. In those days nearly all Jews had two names. One was a Jewish name, by which they were known in their own circle; the other was a Greek name, by which they were known in the wider world. So Cephas is the Hebrew name and Peter the Greek name for a rock; Thomas is the Hebrew name and Didymus the Greek name for a twin. So Saul was also Paul. It may well be that he determined to use only his Gentile name from this time on because he was now launched on the career for which the Holy Spirit had marked him out. He fully accepted his mission as the apostle to the Gentiles.


Do I think that Satan is still trying to stop the gospel from being preached? Yes, and I need to realize that the task is too large for me, so I must constantly be calling on the Lord (I John 5:14-15).

Acts 13:4-12 (English Standard Version)

Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (Space required at line 39, column 24) in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/magpie6-1/ on line 230

Warning: array_slice() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/rss/esvLookup.php on line 15

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »