3 June. Acts 14:1-7

3 June. Paul and Barnabas work miracles and signs in Iconium

"In Iconium [Konya, in modern-day Turkey], Paul and Barnabas went as usual to the Jewish synagogue. They spoke so well that a great many Jews and Greeks believed."

"But some of the Jews who did not believe excited the non-Jewish people and turned them against the believers."

"Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium a long time and spoke bravely for the Lord. He showed that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to work miracles and signs."

"But the city was divided. Some of the people agreed with the Jews, and others believed the apostles. Some who were not Jews, some Jews and some of their rulers wanted to mistreat Paul and Barnabas and to stone them to death [for what they thought was blasphemy]."

"When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they ran away to Lystra and Derbe, cities in Lycaonia, and to the areas around these cities. They announced the Good News there too."

          (Acts 14:1-7)



Paul and Barnabas spent several months at Iconium in 47AD (see 5 on the map on 31 May).

As well as chatting to people of all races, Jews and Gentiles, in the market place (where Paul may well have set up shop as a tent-maker and repairer), they went as usual to the Jewish synagogue to preach on the Sabbath day, and the Holy Spirit enabled them to show by signs and miracles the love and power of the Lord Jesus.

As a result, many Jews and Gentiles believed, but those who rejected the Good News about Jesus hatched a plot to stone Paul and Barnabas to death for what they considered to be blasphemy. Paul and Barnabas heard about the plot and escaped to Lystra in Lycaonia (see 6 on the map).

Iconium had been an important city since its foundation by the Hittites. In Paul’s day it was an important Roman military base on the Via Sebaste, controlling settlements on the Anatolian Plateau.

The city reached its zenith in the 12th century AD when it became the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. It was also the home of Celaleddin Rumi – usually referred to as ‘Mevlana’ – the 13th century founder of Sufism, the Muslim tradition that emphasises the need for a personal relationship with God. Interestingly, many of Mevlana's renowned sayings closely reflect the teaching of Paul.

Visitors to modern-day Konya (Iconium) in Turkey usually spend their time at the Mevlana Museum or inside the beautiful Alaeddin Mosque.

Those in search of Christian sites should venture off the ‘tourist trail’ to the nearby village of Sille. Here they can search for several caves with Christian symbols, used by early Christian monks, and visit a restored Byzantine church built by the Empress Helena in the 4th century AD to commemorate Paul’s visit to Iconium.

The photo shows the Mevlana Lodge & Selimiye Mosque at Konya (Iconium).

You can see more photos of modern-day Konya (Iconium) @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/9-pauls-journey-to-cyprus…

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