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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox


When (Barnabas and Saul) arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord. ~ Acts 13:5-12

Paul knows a little something about being blind, so it strikes me as perhaps not surprising that his first act of power as an Apostle of Christ is to strike a false-prophet blind.

Thereby showing how blind the man was to begin with!

This text is so rich with imagery. And sight (or the lack thereof) imagery is, at least for me, some of the richest there is in the New Testament.

This false prophet is stuck blind enough that he can't see the sun...because he can't see the Son!

Because he is trying to keep others from seeing the Son.

And so Paul, a former blind man himself, uses what he knows of blindness to help the Son be seen.

And notice that he tells the false prophet that his blindness is only for a while.

Grace still abounds.

If you are like me, blindness strikes you from time to time. Sometimes we can't - or won't - see what is right in front of us.

And sometimes our blindness helps others to have their eyes opened.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, that I may see you more clearly. Amen

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