4 Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 Arriving in Salamis, they proclaimed God’s message in the Jewish synagogues. They also had John as their assistant. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came across a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear God’s message. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (this is the meaning of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul—also called Paul—filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at the sorcerer 10 and said, “You son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all fraud, enemy of all righteousness! Won’t you ever stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? 11 Now, look! The Lord’s hand is against you. You are going to be blind, and will not see the sun for a time.” Suddenly a mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul, seeing what happened, believed and was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
demonstrate a basic plan for missionary ministry in the New Testament. Basically three things emerge in this short verse
I. Obedience—vv. 4-5.
The ancient world regarded Cyprus very much like we regard Hawaii or the Bahamas. William Barclay says it was called Markaria or “Happy Isle” because its climate was so perfect and its resources so abundant. For some it was a place in the sun or a “Fantasy Island.” But it was also a needy place, the crossroads of the Mediterranean, and a natural place to go to first because Barnabas was a Cypriot himself. Upon arrival, their method was simple—travel the island from east to west, from Salamis to Paphos, a distance of about ninety miles, preaching the gospel first in the Jewish synagogues but also to the Gentiles.II. Opposition—vv. 6-8.