August 15, 2014
They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
In my mind’s eye, this scene is pure Tolkien! As I read today’s text I couldn’t help but be reminded of Gandalf the Great in the Lord of the Rings as he entered into King Theodan’s court and confronted Grima Wormtongue. That’s my image of the false prophet Bar-Jesus aka Elymas. In case you aren’t Lord of the Rings literate take five and behold.
Did you hear Paul? Note, Luke was careful to qualify what he said with these words, “FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.” His words are worth re-reading:
You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.
False prophets make good strategists. Start with the leadership. Influence leaders. Compromised leaders cripple communities.
Confronted any false prophets lately?
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
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