Where will you go?
“The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.”
The Holy Spirit sent Barnabas and Saul out but he didn’t tell them where to go. They decided that they would go to Cyprus. Why did they choose that place?
Maybe because it was simply the birthplace of Barnabas (Acts 4:36). He knew the nation and he knew where the synagogues were. He knew the people, the culture, the language.
More and more I am enjoying seeing missionaries sent out and going to their own cultures. There is still a place for foreign missionaries going to new fields, without this then the work wouldn’t get done for sure. However it can take up to 5 years to master languages and establish oneself whereas the indigenous missionary has a head start.
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island. It is famous in Greek and Roman historical literature. At the time of these 2 apostles it was under Roman government. However there was substantial numbers of Jews who had gone to live there over the years.
It was an obvious choice for Barnabas and Saul to make the 75 mile journey by boat.
Perhaps the obvious should not be ignored. Some do not think themselves a missionary unless they have sailed into the unknown where no man has ever trod. Today, going next door with an act of kindness, showing the love of God, finding ways to share your faith in Jesus, this maybe the journey God is pleased with. The saints of old were carried back to their home-place when they had died for burial, they were always coming home. But perhaps we should consider going home whilst we are alive. Just for a short time perhaps. Maybe we need to try and reach our own before we reach the stranger.