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Paul and Barnabas in Iconium

14 In Iconium, 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. But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium a long time and spoke bravely for the Lord. The Lord showed that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to work miracles and signs. But some of the people in the city agreed with the Jews. Others believed the apostles. So the city was divided.

Some non-Jewish people, some Jews, and some of their rulers wanted to harm Paul and Barnabas by killing them with stones. When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they went to Lystra and Derbe, cities in Lycaonia, and to the areas around those cities. They announced the Good News there, too.

Paul in Lystra and Derbe

In Lystra there sat a man who had been born crippled; he had never walked. This man was listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him. 10 So he cried out, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have become like men! They have come down to us!” 12 And the people began to call Barnabas “Zeus.”[a] They called Paul “Hermes,”[b] because he was the main speaker. 13 The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what they were about to do, they tore their clothes in anger. Then they ran in among the people and shouted, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We are only men, human beings like you! We are bringing you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the true living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them. 16 In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted. 17 Yet he did things to prove he is real: He shows kindness to you. He gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times. He gives you food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them.

19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. They persuaded the people to turn against Paul. And so they threw stones at Paul and dragged him out of town. They thought that they had killed him. 20 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.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 Paul and Barnabas told the Good News in Derbe and many became followers. Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. 22 In those cities they made the followers of Jesus stronger. They helped them to stay in the faith. They said, “We must suffer many things to enter God’s kingdom.” 23 They chose elders for each church, by praying and giving up eating.[c] These elders were men who had trusted the Lord. So Paul and Barnabas put them in the Lord’s care.

24 Then they went through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 They preached the message in Perga, and then they went down to Attalia. 26 And from there they sailed away to Antioch. This is where the believers had put them into God’s care and had sent them out to do this work. And now they had finished the work.

27 When they arrived in Antioch, they gathered the church together. Paul and Barnabas told them all about what God had done with them. They told how God had made it possible for the non-Jews to believe! 28 And they stayed there a long time with the followers.

Footnotes

  1. 14:12 “Zeus” The Greeks believed in many gods. Zeus was their most important god.
  2. 14:12 “Hermes” The Greeks believed he was a messenger for the other gods.
  3. 14:23 giving up eating This is called “fasting.” The people would give up eating for a special time of prayer and worship to God. It was also done to show sadness.

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