There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.
At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.”
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
“The gods have come down to us in human form.”
They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,”
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.
The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
“Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.”
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.
It is amazing how much anger and resentment that Paul and Barnabas received for preaching the name of Jesus Christ. They were going to be stoned to death, but they escaped.
At Lystra, Paul healed a crippled man who had great faith. Of course, Paul was not the healer; it was the Holy Spirit working through Paul. And yet the people thought the gods had come to them in the form of Paul and Barnabas and wanted to offer animal sacrifices in their honor.
Paul and Barnabas tried to assure them that they were human beings, not gods. Yet the people still wanted to offer animal sacrifices. Why were they so slow to believe that Jesus was the reason for their power? Why are we slow sometimes to believe that Jesus is the source of our healing, of the miracles of our lives?
Jesus said that through the Holy Spirit we would be able to do greater things than even He performed. That sounds amazing, but it is true. And the apostles and so many disciples throughout history have been beautiful instruments of the Holy Spirit in the world.
How does the Lord want to use you today?
Are you willing to be His instrument?
Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and active today?
Have a blessed day!