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Acts 14J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Jewish behaviour repeats itself

14 1-7 Much the same thing happened at Iconium. On their arrival they went to the Jewish synagogue and spoke with such conviction that a very large number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the feelings of the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained there for a long time and spoke fearlessly for the Lord, who made it plain that they were proclaiming the Word of his grace, by allowing them to perform signs and miracles. But the great mass of the people of the city were divided in their opinions, some taking the side of the Jews, and some that of the apostles. But when a hostile movement arose from both Gentiles and Jews in collaboration with the authorities to insult and stone them, they got to know about it, fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding countryside—and from there they continued to proclaim the Gospel.

A miracle in a completely pagan city

8-10 Now it happened one day at Lystra that a man was sitting who had no power in his feet. He had in fact been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. He was listening to Paul as he spoke, and Paul, looking him straight in the eye and seeing that he had the faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand straight up on your feet!”

11 And he sprang to his feet and walked. When the crowd saw what Paul had done they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”

12-15a They began to call Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury, since he was the chief speaker. What is more, the high priest of Jupiter whose temple was at the gateway of the city, brought garlanded oxen to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of their intention they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd, crying at the top of their voices, “Men, men, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings with feelings just like yours!

15b-17 We are here to tell you good news—that you should turn from these meaningless things to the living God! He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. In generations gone by he allowed all nations to go on in their own ways—not that he left men without evidence of himself. For he has shown kindnesses to you; he has sent you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, giving you food and happiness to your hearts’ content.”

18 Yet even with these words, they only just succeeded in restraining the crowd from making sacrifices to them.

Paul is dogged by his Jewish enemies

19-28 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and after turning the minds of the people against Paul they stoned him and dragged him out of the city thinking he was dead. But while the disciples were gathered in a circle round him, Paul got up and walked back to the city. And the very next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe, and when they had preached the Gospel to that city and made many disciples, they turned back to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples there, urging them to stand firm in the faith, and reminding them that it is “through many tribulations that we must enter into the kingdom of God.” They appointed elders for them in each Church, and with prayer and fasting commended these men to the Lord in whom they had believed. They then crossed Pisidia and arrived in Pamphylia. They proclaimed their message in Perga and then went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch where they had first been commended to the grace of God for the task which they had now completed. When they arrived there they called the Church together and reported to them how greatly God had worked with them and how he had opened the door of faith for the Gentiles. And here at Antioch they spent a considerable time with the disciples.

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.

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