And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. Acts 14:8-11
As Paul and Barnabas continued to preach the gospel wherever they went, it caused a great divide, just as Jesus taught us it would. As Jesus said “ I came not to send peace on Earth, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34) The gospel message of Jesus Christ will divide you, you either receive Christ or reject Christ, there is no in between
As the disciples continued to preach, they also healed a crippled man, notice the man had faith to be healed. However when the Greeks witnessed this, instead of giving glory to God, they thought Paul and Baranabas were actual gods. Its important to remember , whatever you do or accomplish for Christ, all glory and power comes from God and is his glory , not our own
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Acts 14:12-15
The Greeks believed that Barnabas was the god of Jupiter and Paul was the god of Mercury, because of the healing that occurred. They even brought animals to be sacrificed to them. Once Paul and Barnabas realized what was going on, they tore their clothes and rebuked the people. Tearing your shirt or coat, was a sign of total disgust or disagreement with a statement someone had made
Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. Acts 14:16-20
The situation became volatile, as the Jews also stirred up the crowd against Paul and Barnabas, eventually they thought they stoned Paul to death. Paul tried to teach the Greeks about the one true living God, but this plan was sabotaged by the Jews.
Eventually the disciples came and rescued Paul out of the city, everyone perceived Paul was dead so they didn’t take notice he got away. However this event would not deter Paul and the disciples from continuing to preach and spread the gospel, all glory to God Amen!
Passing on the Gift, recall, it wasn’t the ordinary Jewish person who encouraged others to turn away, it was those in positions of leadership, on whom the faithful depended upon, for spiritual and economic well being. Sometimes we accidentally use nationalistic style language to describe past events, remember, don’t give those who think of nationalism too much room, as Love is what brings people together, not authoritarian rule, which many nationalistic governments turn into, amen,despite the pleadings to do otherwise, Zimbabwe etc…
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