1 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man"*), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas*), and Saul.1
2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them."
3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.
4 Sent out by the Holy Spirit, Saul and Barnabas went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.
5 There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. (John Mark went with them as their assistant.)
6 Afterward they preached from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus.
7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, a man of considerable insight and understanding. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Saul and Barnabas said. He was trying to turn the governor away from the Christian faith.
9 Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said,
10 "You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?
11 And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness." Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.
12 When the governor saw what had happened, he believed and was astonished at what he learned about the Lord.
13 Now Paul and those with him left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia,* landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.2
14 But Barnabas and Paul traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia.* On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services.3
15 After the usual readings from the books of Moses and from the Prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for us, come and give it!"
16 So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. "People of Israel," he said, "and you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel, listen to me.
17 "The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them prosper in Egypt. Then he powerfully led them out of their slavery.
18 He put up with them* through forty years of wandering around in the wilderness.4
19 Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance.
20 All this took about 450 years. After that, judges ruled until the time of Samuel the prophet.
21 Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.
22 But God removed him from the kingship and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, `David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to.'*5
23 "And it is one of King David's descendants, Jesus, who is God's promised Savior of Israel!
24 But before he came, John the Baptist preached the need for everyone in Israel to turn from sin and turn to God and be baptized.
25 As John was finishing his ministry he asked, `Do you think I am the Messiah? No! But he is coming soon--and I am not even worthy to be his slave.*'6
26 "Brothers--you sons of Abraham, and also all of you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel--this salvation is for us!
27 The people in Jerusalem and their leaders fulfilled prophecy by condemning Jesus to death. They didn't recognize him or realize that he is the one the prophets had written about, though they hear the prophets' words read every Sabbath.