Our Bible lesson is found in Acts 13:1-12. We are studying Paul. He was blinded by a light and stopped putting the Christians in prison. Now he is teaching others about Jesus. Now he is the one that people want to kill or put in prison.
Last week we talked about Paul teaching in the synagogues in Damascus and the people that heard were amazed at how much he knew about Jesus. That made the Jews start to get worried that he might get people to listen to him. They decided to kill him, but the disciples helped him escape Damascus in a large basket down an outside city wall from the window (window is in 2 Cor. 11:33). He walked to Jerusalem and then to Tarsus and preached there. Barnabas took Saul to the apostles in Jerusalem and told them about Saul changing. The churches started to grow.
Read: Acts 11:26 Paul went to Antioch and taught there with other prophets [speakers for God] for a year. This is where people saw that the followers of Christ acted different and they were called Christians in Antioch. Because they were like Christ.
They worshipped God just like we do today, with singing, giving, praying, communion and preaching. (This is a different Antioch from Acts 11. That Antioch already has a growing church. This Antioch is the third largest city of the Roman Empire,) But what doesn’t happen today is: While they were fasting, the Holy Spirit came to them and said to let Saul and Barnabas leave to go do the work that God wants. They fasted and prayed.
They set sail and went to Cyprus. Cyprus is a large rocky island. When they reached Salamis (Sol'-a-mis), Saul and Barnabas preached about God in the synagogues. John 'Mark' was also with them as an assistant. This Mark later wrote the book of Mark.
When they reached Paphos [Paf’-os] (the capitol city on the very west side of island), the Roman governor, Sergius Paulus(Paulus being a Roman last name) asked to see Paul and Barnabas. The Bible tells us he was an intelligent man. (vs. 7)
He wanted to hear about the word of God. But there was a sorcerer (magician or trickster) named Elymas [EE'- luh -mus]. He was not a good man and he trying to turn the council against God. And he didn’t like it that the governor wanted to hear what Saul and Barnabas had to say.
He tried to stand in the way and told the governor not to listen to what Paul & Barnabas were saying. He was afraid that if Sergius Paulus believed Paul & Barnabas, the governor wouldn't pay to see his tricks anymore.
We read in Acts 13:9 “Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him.” This verse tells us that Paul was called both Saul and Paul, that his name was never officially changed to Paul, he just started using the Roman version of his name.Saul said to Elymas [EE'- luh -mus] that he is full of dishonesty and scheming. Saul said Elymas "you are the son of the devil!" Saul told him that because of his telling lies about Jesus, the hand of the Lord “is on you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” (vs. 11)
This week's printable is a one page Venn Diagram. When discussing or reviewing Elymas and his attitude, the student can write them on the left side of the worksheet. Paul is in the middle and the students can write what Jesus would want on the right side. This can be a short or long discussion about how Jesus wants us to act. There is a teacher's visual to help you get started and you can print it in color or black & white. Click here to download.
Click on the above picture to see the Life of Paul lapbook.