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Volume 27 - Page 24 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
Barnabas was of the country of Cyprus (Acts 4: 36) and after the rupture with Paul he
took John Mark with him back to Cyprus (Acts 15: 39). While, as in the case of
Barnabas and John Mark, family affection may sometimes prove a hindrance to spiritual
work, there is no reason, in itself, why it should not be a help. So in the decision to make
Cyprus the first sphere of labour, love of country may have had some weight.
The great mission had now been launched, and the course set. In our next article we
shall be free to take up the record of the ministry accomplished on this island and to learn
its most important dispensational lesson.
The first missionary journey (13: - 16: 5).
Saul, who also is called Paul.
pp. 184 - 188
As the little vessel leaves the shores of Syria carrying, on their great adventure, the
two emissaries of a despised faith, what insignificant persons must they have appeared.
There seems to have been no "send off", except that lowly one in the atmosphere of
prayer and fasting (Acts 13: 3). As they traversed the miles of sea, slowly reducing the
distance from the place of their initial ministry, there could have been little realization of
the tremendous issues that hung, humanly speaking, upon their faithfulness and courage.
The strongest might have felt the task too great: still more such a man as Paul. His
bodily presence is described by the Corinthians as "weak" and as we hope to prove, he
reminds the Galatians that he was with them on this very journey, during a bout of
sickness (Gal. 4: 13). Before the journey is accomplished and the apostle is back again
at Antioch, he is to meet with the opposition of sorcery, the contradiction and blasphemy
of the Jew, persecution at the hands even of the honourable and the devout, despiteful
handling by the combined attack of Jew and Gentile, and the ordeal of stoning and being
left for dead: yet is he sustained and preserved. The grace of God, to which they had
been recommended (Acts 14: 26), proved all-sufficient, and the door of faith had been
opened to the Gentiles.
No particulars are given of the work done upon the island. The verb kateggellon used
in Acts 13: 5 suggests a "continuance" of preaching in the synagogues of the Jews, a
number of which may therefore have been visited at Salamis. The island is about
150 miles long, and the distance between Salamis and Paphos is 100 miles. It appears
from the narrative, and from the relative positions of Salamis and Paphos, that, excepting
the promontory east of Salamis the whole of the island (Acts 13: 6) was traversed and
the gospel preached. Yet not until the arrival at Paphos does the inspired chronicler find
reason to record details, so that we do not know whether any or all of the fifteen other
towns of considerable note (Pliny) were visited. Paphos, now called Baffa, was, at the
time of the apostles, a port, where were the seat of the Roman Deputy and the site of one
of the more famous temples dedicated to the worship of Venus. The Deputy is one