4 June. Acts 14:8-20

4 June. Paul is stoned by Jews at Lystra and left for dead

"At Lystra there sat a man who had been born crippled; he had never walked. As this man was listening to Paul speak, Paul looked straight at him and saw that he believed that God could heal him."

"So he cried out, 'Stand up on your feet!' The man jumped up and began walking around."

"When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, 'The [Greek] gods have become like humans and have come down to us!' Then the people began to call Barnabas 'Zeus' [the king of the Greek gods] and Paul 'Hermes' [the messenger of the Greek gods] because he was the main speaker."

"The priest in the temple of Zeus, which was near the city, brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. He and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard about it, they tore their clothes [in despair]."

"They ran in among the people, shouting, 'Friends, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings like you. We are bringing you the Good News and are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the living God.'"

"He is the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea and everything in them... Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them."

"Then some Jewish people came from Antioch and Iconium and persuaded the people to turn against Paul. So they threw stones at him [for what they considered to be blasphemy] and dragged him out of town, thinking they had killed him."

"But the followers gathered around him, and he got up and went back into the town. The next day, he and Barnabas left and went to the city of Derbe."

          (Acts 14:8-20)



At Lystra, Paul healed a man who had been crippled since birth. When the man jumped up and walked, the people thought that Paul and Barnabas were human incarnations of the Greek gods Hermes (‘Mercury’ to the Romans) and Zeus (the Roman god ‘Jupiter’ or ‘Jove’).

The priest of the Temple of Zeus brought garlanded bulls to the city gates to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. But the disciples tore their clothes in despair and protested that they were only human.

At this point, some of the Jews from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium arrived and won over the crowds. Paul was stoned for 'blasphemy' for telling the Good News about Jesus. He was dragged outside the city walls and left for dead.

The disciples gathered round him and prayed for a miracle – and, amazingly, Paul got up and walked back into the city.

The next day Paul and Barnabas said goodbye to the new believers in Lystra (including Timothy, a young man with a Jewish mother and a Roman father – see Acts 16:1) and departed for Derbe (see 7 on the map on 31 May).

The photo shows a garlanded bull ready to be sacrificed to the gods (at Constantine's Baths, Ephesus).

You can read more about Lystra @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/…/paul-barnabas-in-lystra/.

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