Acceptance and Opposition
14 Now in Iconium Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue together and spoke in such a way [with such power and boldness] that a large number of Jews as well as Greeks believed [and confidently accepted Jesus as Savior]; 2 but the unbelieving Jews [who rejected Jesus as Messiah] stirred up and embittered the minds of the Gentiles against the [a]believers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas stayed for a long time, speaking boldly and confidently for the Lord, who continued to testify to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders (attesting miracles) be done by them. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some were siding with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 When there was an attempt by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their rulers, to shamefully mistreat and to stone them, 6 they, aware of the situation, escaped to Lystra and Derbe, [taking refuge in the] cities of Lycaonia, and the neighboring region; 7 and there they continued to preach the good news.
8 Now at Lystra a man sat who was unable to use his feet, for he was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, and Paul looked intently at him and saw that he had faith to be healed, 10 and said with a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet.” And he jumped up and began to walk. 11 And the crowds, when they saw what Paul had done, raised their voices, shouting in the [b]Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us [c]in human form!” 12 They began calling Barnabas, Zeus [chief of the Greek gods], and Paul, Hermes [messenger of the Greek gods], since he took the lead in speaking. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance of the city, brought bulls and garlands to the city gates, and wanted to offer sacrifices with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard about it, they [d]tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are only men of the same nature as you, bringing the good news to you, so that you turn from these useless and meaningless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them.(A) 16 In generations past He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 yet He did not leave Himself without some witness [as evidence of Himself], in that He kept constantly doing good things and showing you kindness, and giving you rains from heaven and productive seasons, filling your hearts with food and happiness.” 18 Even saying these words, with difficulty they prevented the people from offering sacrifices to them.
19 But Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.(B) 20 But the disciples formed a circle around him, and he got up and went back into the city; and the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 They preached the good news to that city and made many disciples, then they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening and establishing the hearts of the disciples; encouraging them to remain firm in the faith, saying, “It is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they believed [and joyfully accepted as the Messiah].
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word [of salvation through faith in Christ] in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to [e]Antioch, where they had been entrusted to the grace of God for the [f]work which they had now completed. 27 Arriving there, they gathered the church together and began to report [in great detail] everything that God had done with them and how He had opened to the Gentiles a door of faith [in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior]. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
- Acts 14:2 Lit brethren.
- Acts 14:11 An ancient dialect no longer known.
- Acts 14:11 Lit having become like humans.
- Acts 14:14 This was the customary Jewish response to blasphemy, which in this case was appropriate because the apostles were wrongly being identified as gods.
- Acts 14:26 This was the third largest city in the Roman Empire and was part of the province of Galatia.
- Acts 14:26 The first missionary journey lasted about eighteen months.