14 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.
8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v1-7: Once again the apostles “spoke so effectively” with much evidence and proof of the Spirit through “miraculous signs and wonders”, winning many to Christ. Yet despite this, it was met soon after with stubborn Jews that tried to stir up trouble and cause the Jews and Gentiles not to believe (thus causing them to be divided); and still the Jews plotted against the apostles with plans to stone them, and once again, the apostles manage to escape. It always seems this way, the apostles preach, people are won to Christ, but then there is great persecution, a spiritual battle between good and evil.
- Iconium, Lystra and Derbe were all in Asia-Minor: in today’s world it is in modern-day Turkey. All were governed under Roman rule, and as a result they worshipped greek gods, which explains why the people tried to worship Paul and Barnabas, thinking they were Zeus and Hermes due to a miracle they performed in v9-10.
- v9-10: we learn that the man that was crippled from birth, listened to Paul, and Paul saw that “he had faith to be healed”, and thus he was healed in v10. This demonstrated that he had listened intently to the hearing of the word, as faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). We are reminded of the many times when Jesus healed people because their faith has saved them (Luke 7:50, 18:42 to name two,) in this section, Paul says the same.
- v15-17: in response to the people offering sacrifices to Paul and Barnabus, thinking they were gods, the apostles were passionate in explaining that they were only men/human beings and giving the credit back to the Creator God. They share how He made everything and they explain God’s great providence and kindness. These testimonies of God’s goodness can still be used as a reminder for us even today.
- v18-20: The people still offered sacrifices to them because the truth meant nothing to them; and once more, the Jews won the crowd over against the apostles and as a result they stoned Paul until they thought that he was dead.
submitted by Ansy Wong
PRAYING IN FAITH
Pray that we can have faith that comes from hearing God’s word and that we can practice obedience as a result.
For your five
Ask God to increase the faith in your five, so they can be more susceptible to hearing God’s word.
For our church
Pray for our church to grow in faith and to be reminded of God’s rich kindness and providence.