Week of September 29 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Acts 13:4-12

4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. 

Reflect: What is the response of the proconsul to Paul’s teaching?

Consider: Verse 12 describes the effect of the miracle on the proconsul: he believed. He was not only impressed by the miracle but also by the teaching about the Lord. This familiar pattern already has been illustrated in Acts. The miracles wrought by the Spirit often provide an opening for faith. It is much as with the lame beggar of chap. 3. The crowds were attracted to the apostles by the healing (3:11). They believed in the Lord as the result of Peter’s preaching the gospel (4:4).4

Respond: What does the proconsul’s response to Paul imply about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer? Are there circumstances in your life where you are hesitant to speak up or speak out? How can you be encouraged from this passage? 

4  John B. Polhill, Acts, vol. 26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 294–295.