People are fickle. Paul and Barnabas moved on to Lystra to continue to spread the gospel. Once there, They met a lame beggar. Paul healed the beggar. The crowd was amazed and proclaimed that Paul and Barnabas were gods. Paul and Barnabas sought to convince the crowd that they were just normal men.
Immediately, the crowd turned from adoring fans to angry mob. They dragged Paul and Barnabas out of the city and stoned them to death.
Once the crowd left, other disciples prayed for Paul and Barnabas and they were healed. They rose, reentered the city and continued to preach the gospel. In our current culture, men remain fickle. While they may admire a Christian’s honesty, empathy and kindness–once God receives the glory, their admiration quickly turns to anger and hatred.
Christians are in enemy territory. The best I can hope for, is tolerance and indifference. Only by faith, can we continue to share the gospel and allow God to complete his mission. If we do so in faith, he will do great things. We on the other hand, are always subject to death and persecution. It may not seem so dangerous in our time, but, like Paul and Barnabas, we can go from hero to zero in minutes. We must, therefore, trusting God to deliver us, prepare us, and protect us from the enemy, and from evil men.
God Bless You.
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.
He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed
and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.
The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
“Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
In the past, he let all nations go their own way.Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
man jumped up and began to walk.