Paul's First Missionary Journey with Map
Paphos of Cyprus
Brief Overview of Paul's Visit to the Paphos on the Island of Cyprus on His First Missionary Journey
After ministering at Salamis, Paul journeyed from the east side of
the island across to the west side preaching in the Jewish synagogues along the
way. They reached Paphos, the city port on the western side of the island, and
the seat of Roman government. Paphos was the worship center for the goddess
Aphrodite (Venus), the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. According
to a legend Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea, and she floated in a
shell on the waves, and landed on Cyprus near Paphos. Every year people came
from all over the Mediterranean world to visit her temple.
It was here at Paphos that the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who, hearing of
the arrival of Barnabas and Saul, sent for them, desiring to hear the word of
God. Accompanying the governor was a Jew named Bar-Jesus, or Elymas, a false
prophet and magician, who, fearful of the influence of the apostles, withstood
them, "seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith."
Paul looked at him and spoke these words:
Acts 13:10-12 "And said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the
devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the
straight ways of the Lord? "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you,
and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark
mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at
the teaching of the Lord."
From this point in history Paul appears as the prominent figure of every
event. He was now clearly seen as the preacher to the Gentiles, and
simultaneously his name was suddenly changed. Nothing is said to explain the
change of name, although there are many conjectures among writers.
When they left the city of Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail for Asia
(modern Turkey). Asia (also known as Asia minor) is a massive 3000-5000 foot
plateau with high mountain ranges all around it. The area is somewhat arid with
a few natural resources, therefore the land was used mainly for grazing and
grain. The mountains are a great source of resources, lots of timber, and
wealthy deposits of gold, silver, and copper, lead, iron, zinc, and marble.
There is fruitful rainfall along the coast producing grapes and olives which
were common around the Mediterranean. The main trade route in Asia minor during
the first century AD went from Ephesus to Antioch of Pisidia and then split
north to the Euphrates and south to Tarsus and down into Syria.
Paul's First Missionary
Journey with Map
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His
Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
There is no doubt in what the Word of the Lord says, that Jesus came, "in the
fullness of time." Politically, intellectually, morally, and everything else
in the Graeco-Roman world was ready for the message of the gospel. One note
worth mentioning is that in the gentile world, it is told, there was an
expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judaea (Tacitus,
History v. 13; Suetonius, Vespas. 4).
When Jesus died on a Roman cross it was not the end but the beginning. His
followers would spread a message called the "gospel" meaning good news
starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the farthest parts of the known world.
Their message was:
Jesus, a lowly Jewish carpenter from the despised city of Nazareth, was
rejected by His own Jewish nation and crucified by the Roman governor was indeed
the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, who rose from the dead and anyone who
would accept Him would be forgiven of all sins and would rise with Him in glory.
Those who spread the message were mostly Jews and were commanded by the Lord to
go to the Jewish brethren first and then to the gentiles. When they entered
Jewish synagogues they were scorned and persecuted by most of the Jews, and even
the Greco-Roman cultures referred to their message as "superstitious rabble."
Yet the Book of Acts reveals that the message about Jesus Christ spread to all
who of those who had open hearts throughout the whole Mediterranean world and,
as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit entered hearts and lives.
Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were
called on a mission by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch.
This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. In his missions he
preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up
elders for the new Churches. He is also heavily persecuted, yet his life and
ministry is one that has set an awesome example of dedication and courage for
all to remember. You can look at the Map to trace the route of their first
6 Lystra Asia
8 Attalia Asia
Paul's First Missionary Journey
Bible History Online
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (https://www.bible-history.com)