The Mission to Cyprus

Read: Acts 13:4-12

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. (v. 4)

In Mark 5, Jesus healed a man with an unclean spirit. As Jesus was getting into a boat, the man started begging to go along. He was so captivated by Jesus that he wanted to join him as he journeyed about the land. Instead, Jesus said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you” (v. 19).

Perhaps Barnabas recalled those words as he and Saul set out on their missionary journey. Barnabas was from Cyprus, so it was no mistake that he wanted to go there first to let his countrymen hear about Jesus. It is often this way for new believers—they want to share their newfound faith with the ones they grew up with. This is especially true when they have come from places where few know the good news.

These verses are also important as they indicate a name change. Saul will henceforth be known as Paul. For Paul, this meant a new life and purpose for him. In addition, people in those days often went by two names, one in their local surroundings and one out in the world. Paul knew he would from this point onward be in the world proclaiming the gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles. So it only seemed right that he go by that name. —John Koedyker

As you pray, thank God that he knows your name.

About the Author

John Koedyker

Rev. John C. Koedyker is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America. He has served as a missionary to Japan as well as pastor of several churches in Iowa and Michigan. Until recently he served Muskegon Classis as its Stated Clerk for 18 years. He resides in Grand Haven, Michigan.