Paul’s wilt thou not cease to pervert the
Paul’s first missionary journey was to the island of Cyprus. Salamis was there first destination on the island. During his stay in Salamis Paul and Barnabas preached in the Jewish synagogues, while John also ministered with them.
The next stop Paul and Barnabas made was Paphos at the almost opposite end of Cyprus. While in Paphos they found a Governor called Sergius Paulus who wanted to hear their teachings. However, the Governor had sorcerer, Elymas, in his company, who did not want him to hear the word of God. Paul being filled with the Holy Ghost admonished Elymas and said, “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season” (Acts 13:10-11).
Elymas being struck blind astonished the Governor and he believed the word of the Lord that apostles had spoken to him. After leaving Paphos John returned to Jerusalem.Perga in Pamphylia is where John departed from Paul and Barnabas’ before they arrived in Antioch in Pisidia. While in Antioch, Paul and Barnabas went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers asked them if they wished to speak. Paul gave a message of Jesus’ coming as the Savior, which enthralled the Jews and interested them greatly. When the Gentiles heard of the message, they asked if Paul would come back and give the message again on the next Sabbath.
Paul and Barnabas agreed and when they came back the next Sabbath the Jews saw the multitude of people and were jealous. The Jews wished to be the only ones to be offered salvation, so they began blaspheming and contradicting the apostles teaching. When the apostles offered salvation to the Gentiles their opposition increased, and the apostles were forced out of the area.
They left rejoicing and filled with the Holy Ghost for all who had believed their message.Iconium was their next point of arrival where they spoke to the Jews in the synagogue. A large number of Jews and Greeks believed, but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the minds of the Gentiles with evil against them. The city was divided and the Jews sought to persecute the believers, which fled into Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia.
In Lystra and Derbe of Lycaonia the apostles preached the gospel and even healed a man who had been crippled from birth. When the people saw the miracle they believed Paul and Barnabas to be gods. The people of the town brought offerings to worship them. Paul and Barnabas tried to persuade them they were not gods at all but did so without any success.
In spite of Paul’s efforts to witness, the Jews from the neighboring towns persuaded the people that they should stone Paul for not accepting their offerings. After doing so they took him out of the city where he regained his composure among the disciples and went back into the city.Finally, Paul retraced his steps through Lystra, Antioch, and Iconium. While in each of these places he exhorted them once again to continue in the faith. Also while retracing these steps, he ordained elders for every church and prayed and fasted with them.
After they had accomplished this all, they continued on to Antioch in Syria where certain men from Judea queried about, “Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). Paul and Barnabas came to Jerusalem to answer the question of circumcision and thus ended their first missionary journey. Bibliography: