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Sergius Paulus stood deep in thought on the terrace of his magnificent villa, looking out across the clear

blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. He was sad and troubled. But why should he be, he wondered. He had everything a man could want. He was the Roman Governor of the island of Cyprus. He had a beautiful villa and every comfort, luxury and material pleasure that he could desire. But still he was not satisfied. Something was missing.

In his search for spiritual truth, Serguis had begun listening to a Jewish false prophet named Elymas. But still, the Governor had no peace. What really is the Truth? he wondered. And now, just the other day, he had heard that some Christians had been travelling across Cyprus and had arrived in Paphros! His servants told him they were preaching how men could have a miraculous spiritual rebirth, and, at once interested in hearing more, Sergius had sent an invitation for these strangers to have an audience in his court. The next day, his thoughts were suddenly interrupted by an attendant who said, Sir, the men have arrived for their appointment. Sergius left the terrace and went down into his villa to meet them. Three Jews, who introduced themselves as Barnabus, his nephew John-Mark, and Paul of Tarsus, greeted him. Sergius warmly saluted his close friend and advisor, Elymas the magician, who had also just arrived.

After spreading a banquet of food and dry Cyprus wine before them, they began to talk. Sergius was delighted to find out that not only was Paul a Roman citizen, but that Barnabus was a native of Cyprus! Then Sergius said, Ive heard much about your religion. If you people are right, why are you so hated and persecuted? Everywhere you are spoken against!
Paul answered, At one time I myself hated Christians so much that I instigated a nation-wide persecution against them! I broke into their houses and had both men and women thrown into prison. I tried to force them to deny their faith and even had them put to death! As Paul went on to describe how he had been miraculously converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus, Elymas began to see how intently Sergius was listening to their words. Realising that if the Governor were converted to Christianity, that he would no longer listen to his advice, Elymas became filled with a jealous rage!

Angrily, Elymas interrupted and began to contradict Paul and Barnabus. Sergius Paulus was confused. He was interested in the doctrines of these Christians, yet Elymas had been his close associate and adviser for a long time! Who was he to believe?
But when Paul saw that Elymas was trying to turn the Governor from the faith, he was filled with righteous anger; the Holy Spirit came upon him with great power and authority, and he rebuked the magician, saying, You child of the Devil and enemy of righteousness! Will you never cease trying to pervert the ways of truth? The Lords hand is upon you, and you shall be blind!

Immediately Elymas cried out that a dark mist had fallen upon him, and he stumbled about frantically, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Finally a Roman guard led him out.

Sergius was so astonished by this miracle that he totally forgot about all the lies that Elymas had been spouting, and was convinced that Paul and Barnabus had been telling him the Truth!And that day, the Roman Governor asked Jesus Christ to come into his life and make him a new man.
He did not throw off his royal robes and join Paul and Barnabus, travelling with them in their missionary journeys, but he determined to do what he could: He would use his power and authority as Governor to help the spread of Christianity in Cyprus, and protect the little groups of Christian believers that Paul and Barnabus had already started all across the island, from Salamis to Paphros.

Though Paul, Barnabus and John Mark left Cyprus afterwards to continue preaching the Gospel in other regions, Barnabus and John Mark soon returned to Cyprus and were overjoyed to see that, under the favor and protection of Sergius Paulus, Christianity was prospering.


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Dramatized Bible story from Acts 13:4-12. The Family International