Paul's First Missionary Journey
Barnabas and Paul were teachers in the church at Antioch . One day during a worship service the Holy Spirit revealed His special plans for the two men. The church fasted and prayed and sent them on their way.
They sailed to the island of Cyprus . They crossed over the island and came to the town of Paphos . An interesting thing happened in that town.
There was a false prophet named Bar-Jesus . He was a sorcerer who practiced magic and tricked the people. His master, a government official named Sergius Paulus wanted to learn from Paul and Barnabas. But Bar-Jesus, also known as Elymas , didn't want his master to hear their message. He started speaking against them.
Paul called Elymas the "son of the devil and the enemy of everything that was right". He told him that he was going to become blind and not be able to see the light of the sun. Immediately everything became dark to him. He couldn't see a thing! He started trying to find someone to lead him by the hand.
When the official saw what had happened, he believed the words of Paul and Barnabas. He was amazed at the story of Jesus.
The two preachers continued to travel. There were no cars, trains, or buses. They either walked or rode on animals. They traveled miles and miles, and many people believed their teaching and became followers of Jesus. They suffered countless hardships and persecutions, but they considered these things to be trivial compared to the joy and promised reward of obeying the Lord and following the directions of the Holy Spirit. They no longer lived for themselves, but for God.