Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Acts: Cyprus (13:4-12)

A couple things stand out on Cyprus as the first journey begins.
 
First, Paul begins by using the strategy he will employ for the rest of his journeys. He starts sharing his message in the synagogues, where he has the most natural connection. From there he and the message spread out to the Gentile population and across the area around the towns where he works. This is an effective strategy and translates well to cross-cultural work today. Make connections with the portion of the population that has the closest cultural affinity to the messenger, and as they accept the Gospel and believe, they can even more effectively carry it further into the population.
 
Secondly, Paul has an encounter with a magician. This parallels the experience that Peter had in Samaria. This is just the first of many similarities between Peter and Paul that Luke highlights in Acts. (Miraculous escapes from prison, raising people from the dead, healing cripples, and people experiencing healing simply by a) touching Peter’s shadow or b) touching Paul’s sweat rags.) This serves to really emphasize the two men as the central figures of the early church. Both men were important to the future of Christianity. Both were selected by Christ to carry His message forward into the world and the future.

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