Monday, January 03, 2005

The Sword and the Sorcerer

Elymas the Sorcerer lived in Paphos on the island of Cyprus. The word “sorcerer” is related to the words used to describe the men from the east who followed the star that led them to Jesus. Elymas’ name means magician, but it is his behavior, not his name, that distinguishes him from wise men. It is his behavior that identifies him as a sorcerer rather than a wiseman.

Elymas was a false prophet. He had gotten in with Sergius Paulus, a leader in Paphos. Most likely, the curiosity of the intelligent proconsul Paulus prompted him to surround himself with magicians of various backgrounds. Elymas falsely represented Yahweh, no doubt telling Paulus exactly what he wanted to hear.

He also tried to turn Paulus from the faith. Paulus, you see, asked to hear what a couple of visitors to Paphos were saying. Those visitors were Paul and Silas. They were spreading the word in Cyprus and had arrived in the city of Paphos. It is not clear in the text of Acts 13 whether Elymas actually tried to keep Paulus away, or if he attempted to discredit the message. It is clear that that the Sword, the Word of God, had power over Elymas, because Paul blinded Elymas, and Paulus believed the teaching about the Lord.

You would never play the role of keeping someone from the word, would you? Do you have people in your family who have asked to learn about Jesus, but you have kept them away or attempted to discredit the message? Have you fought the drive that you have within yourself to pursue knowledge about Christ? You can be closer to the life of a sorcerer than the life of a wiseman even without the name Elymas. It is your behavior that makes the difference. Are you pursuing Jesus? That’s Life at Work.

1 comment:

JD said...

Interesting post, Richard. I think there are some real challenges here that weren't spelled out ... I'd like to see you do a part II with some specific examples of ways we keep people away from Christ by our actions or even by our silence.