Acts 14

Today's Passage: Acts 14

There is a startling turn in this passage. God works through Paul to perform a miracle in which a lame man was healed, but within what seems to be a very short period of time, the people of Lystra go from trying to worship Paul and Barnabas to stoning Paul.

Within this pagan city, there was a story from folklore that Hermes and Zeus visited in disguise and were only helped by two people. In response the gods destroyed Lystra. Many scholars believe that the people of Lystra were very familiar with this story so when they saw the miracle they did not want to make the same mistake again. Once Paul and Barnabas realized what they were doing, they implored the people to stop.

Paul, realizing that the people there were pagan and thus had no knowledge of the Old Testament, adjusted his message to fit the audience. Paul was an absolute master at this! Instead of proclaiming the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he appealed to the universal and rational knowledge of the One who created the world. Even with this, Paul and Barnabas had a very difficult time convincing the people not to offer sacrifices to them.

But all it took was from Jews from Antioch and Iconium to convince the crowds that Paul could not be trusted. The people were stirred to stone him, and Paul miraculously survived. This is a demonstration of how fickle a crowd can be.Maybe they felt betrayed when they realized those who they perceived to be gods were merely human.

Here’s what stands out to me: we know from Acts 16 that a young Christian was in Lystra with his mother. It was Timothy! I can’t help but wonder if Timothy witnessed all of these things and saw Paul and Barnabas’ courage and power in ministry.

Who could be watching you as you live for Christ? What kind of an impact could that make on them?

Written By: Kaitlin White

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