GOSPEL MEDITATION # 39
Barnabas & Saul Sent Off & Barnabas & Saul on Cyprus
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Barnabas and Saul, having completed their mission to Jerusalem (relief from the famine), are back at their home base, Antioch.
- Luke lists the “prophets and teachers” at the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,, Nanaen, and Saul.
- While “worshipping and fasting” the Holy Spirit directs the church to set Barnabas and Saul aside for a “work” they have been “called” to.
- After prayer and fasting then, these two first to be designated as missionaries are sent off.
- From Antioch they set off for Seleucia, the port city of Antioch, 10 miles to the east, from which they board a ship for Cyprus. Barnabas is from this Mediterranean island.
- They arrive at Salamis, a major city, and go directly to the Jewish synagogue where they “proclaimed the word of God.” (We note “word” is from the Greek Logos.)
- Luke is careful to point out that John, otherwise known as John Mark, is with the missionaries.
- In Paphos the trio come across a sorcerer or magician name Bar-Jesus, a Jewish false prophet, who had somehow connected with the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulos, who wanted to hear their “word of God” message.
- Elymas (name means magician), or Bar-Jesus, oppose the preachers. Saul, empowered by the Holy Spirit, causes Elymas to go blind. Seeing the miracle, the proconsul becomes a believer.