June 30 – Acts 14:1-18

June 30 – Acts 14:1-18

Paul and Barnabas in Iconium

14 The same thing happened in Iconium.[a] Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders. But the people of the town were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.

Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia—to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. And there they preached the Good News.

Paul and Barnabas in Lystra and Derbe

While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. 10 So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!” 12 They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. 13 Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, 15 “Friends,[b] why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 16 In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, 17 but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.” 18 But even with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.

Acts 14:1-18 (NLT)

One Comment

    Jason Parsons

    In Acts 3, Peter heals a beggar and in his sermon about it near the temple, he said it was by faith that Jesus healed him (Acts 3:16). The study Bible I have (ESV) says that it was Peter’s faith in Jesus’ healing power that was the catalyst for healing this man. In today’s passage Paul supernaturally (because God gifted him with this skill for this moment) saw that the man with crippled feet “had faith to be healed” (Acts 14:9). I think the difference in these passages is fascinating. Peter was in Jerusalem, the epicenter of Christianity, and was surrounded by Jewish people who were in the courtyards of the temple of God. Paul was in Lystra where Christianity hadn’t been shared yet and where there weren’t enough Jewish people in that area to form a synagogue (Paul and Barnabas didn’t go to the synagogue when they first arrived because there wasn’t one). The faith to heal a crippled person was alive in the Gentile but not in the Jew. I think that is an important reminder for us. The places we expect to find faith, we may not find it and the places we don’t expect to find faith, we may find it in abundance. Let us be mindful of this as we go throughout our week and encounter people who are different from us.

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