Sometimes, when I come to write up a TWG, I find myself focusing on an entirely unexpected point. Today is one of those days. I had thought to explore the battle between the apostle, Paul and the sorcerer, Bar-Jesus. Instead my attention has been drawn to the Governor. The governor is described as an intelligent man. He had invited Barnabas and Saul (Paul) so that he could hear the word of God. He was an intelligent man seeking the truth but his sorcerer tried to stand in the way. I know a number of intelligent men who are seeking truth in a similar way. They are investigating faith and philosophy in all it’s forms. They are searching for the word of God it seems to me, although perhaps they wouldn’t put it in those terms. Some of them have found a few strands of wisdom they can relate to, but often these strands come from a number of separate faiths or belief systems. However, the men have become attached to these strands of hope and are reluctant to let go of them. It is as if they have their own versions of Bar-Jesus which in themselves, bar the way to Jesus.
Acts 13:4-12 NLT
So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant. Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
I pray that through this work I do every day, some of these intelligent men, those that know about TWG and read it, might eventually come to see, hear and know the teaching of God. And I pray that all of us might be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and so be able to look into the eyes of all those things that deceive us and cause us to doubt the goodness and truth of the word of God. I pray that our doubts might be blinded and disempowered for a while. Perhaps long enough for intelligent men to see, believe and be astonished at the teaching of the Lord. Amen.
1 Kings 20:1-21:29, Acts 12:24-13:15, Psalms 137:1-9, Proverbs 17:16