Paul and his Travels: from Antioch to Cyprus

Paul was called by the resurrected Christ to be his apostle to the Gentiles but now the Church in Antioch is guided by the Spirit to send him, together with Barnabas, in this mission to Gentiles. Thus, the call of Christ is working together with the commissioning of the Church in someones life and ministry. We know things about the ministry in Antioch; prophets and teachers (προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι) are mentioned. Are they the leadership of the Church? Perhaps not, but the mention to them it is sufficient to say that, very early on, there were such ministries/groups.
Paul’s missionary ministry will have this home Church/base that sends him to witness. At this point we do not have hints towards varied links to the Church in Jerusalem. In this missionary journey it is mentioned the name of one convert: Sergius Paulus (the Roman governor of Cyprus), and we are provided with the cultural information from the City of Lystra on the temple of Zeus.
The journey to Cyprus and the missionary activity there. The debut of Paul in ministry. The ‘son of the devil’ is crushed, and the senatorial magistrate is converted.
We have a false prophet and magician, and a proconsul that is discerning. A fortune-teller, and a Proconsul who is ready to recognize something better when it appears; he is willing to hear the word of God. This is an account into which the enemies and the openminded are presented together. It leads to the approval of very high standing people (here a Proconsul). The attempts of the Elymas to turn away the Proconsul from faith are crushed and the ‘son of the devil’ becomes a blind beggar. The opposition’s works is seen as ‘perverting the right ways of the Lord’ and the punishment is blindness. Paul’s mission is given in terms of bringing people out of darkness to light, but here Elymas is plunged into mist and darkness.
We have a conversion of an official of the empire, but the way it is narrated is simple, and without apparent consequences.

Barrett, C. K. 1994. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Acts of the Apostles. Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
Pervo, Richard I. 2009. Acts: A Commentary on the Book of Acts. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. Hermeneia - a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

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