Elymas— The Blind Magician.

As far as magicians in the Bible go, Elymas isn’t the first name that comes to mind. Simon the sorcerer was the first to plunge himself into infamy. Peter severely rebuked him for offering money for the ability to pass on the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18). Elymas also received condemnation. Paul and Barnabas had come to the Island of Cyprus at the beginning of the First Missionary Journey (Acts 13:4-12). On their arrival in the town of Paphos, Elymas did his best to thwart the apostle Paul’s evangelistic efforts to win the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus, to Christ. While the gospel message was convicting the heart of Sergius Paulus, Elymas was busy contradicting its messengers. Paul had had enough and being filled with the Holy Spirit, confronted Elymas. With his eyes locked on him Paul delivered a rebuke that was anything but pleasant: “You son of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of evil tricks and lies, always trying to change the Lord’s truths into lies” (Acts 13:10-NCV).Most of us would rather cut off our tongues than speak such things. Even to the most belligerent opponent of the gospel we would rather stay silent than rebuke them like this.Luke described Sergius Paulus as an intelligent man. But what easier way to deceive Sergius Paulus than to pass Paul and Barnabas off as low-grade illusionists. Whatever may have been Elymas’ modus operandi, he was just about to experience the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. He was immediately struck blind. There couldn’t have been two more opposite reactions to the Gospel and the miraculous event that confirmed its veracity. Sergius Paulus saw the Light, believed and followed Jesus. Elymas saw darkness, disbelieved, and followed the first person willing to lead him.God puts before us all that we need to seek him. Pity the man who will not see.



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