Memory verses for this week: Eph 3:20 Now unto him
that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think, according to the power that worketh in us, Eph 3:21
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout
all ages, world without end. Amen.
Introduction: In Chapter 13, we studied how that Paul and
Barnabas were moved by the Holy Spirit to go on their first
missionary journey. The
church at Antioch sponsored the two men as we saw the Lord give us
the example of how mission work should be done through His plan.
The Jews in Antioch of Pisidia rejected the gospel, and they
turned to the Gentiles who readily believed.
After being driven from this location, we pick up in Iconium
where Paul and Barnabas next moved.
The Work at Iconium
Acts 14:1 And it came to
pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of
the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and
also of the Greeks believed.
Acts 14:2 But the
unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil
affected against the brethren.
see that after Paul and Barnabas were driven out of Antioch in
Pisidia by the Jews the came to Iconium.
Iconium was the chief city of the district
of Lycaonia, sometimes called southern Galatia.
We find this is one of the cities where Paul addressed the
Epistle of the Galatians later on.
As before, the men go to God’s chosen nation, Israel first.
But as was the case in most places, the Jews rejected the
gospel and they turned even the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas.
It says in verse one that many of the Jews and the Gentiles
believed on Christ, but many of the unbelievers spoke evil of the
men. It is
amazing what an effect just a few negative people can have on the
work of the Lord. God
help us all to speak positively of other Christians and encourage
and exhort one another. If we are not careful, we can let Satan use our lives to
defeat the work of the church, sometimes just by ignorance. James warns us of using the tongue wrongly and how much
strife we can cause by careless words.
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in
word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole
Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey
us; and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are
driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small
helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great
things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the
tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and
setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and
of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of
Acts 14:3 Long time
therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave
testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders
to be done by their hands.
Acts 14:4 But the
multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and
part with the apostles.
Acts 14:5 And when there
was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with
their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
see that even though Paul and Barnabas performed miracles and
wonders for the people, the problems were so great that the men had
to leave the city. It
is amazing how God’s Word divides people.
Those that believe get saved, while the lost that reject the
Gospel become bitter and antagonistic against those that spread the
Word of the Lord. These
were so bitter that they tried to get the people to stone them.
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you,
Nay; but rather division:
For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided,
three against two, and two against three.
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son
against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the
daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter
in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
don’t know how long they stayed, but verse 3 said they were there
a long time as they spoke boldly of the things of God.
It says that the city was divided, half standing with the
unbelieving Jews and others standing with the apostles. We know God
allowed the apostles to perform the signs and wonders for a reason
as is recorded over in John 20.
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his
disciples, which are not written in this book:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life
through his name.
The Work in Derbe and Lystra
Acts 14:6 They were ware
of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto
the region that lieth round about:
Acts 14:7 And there they
preached the gospel.
Paul and Barnabas learned of the persecution planned by the Jews and
the Gentiles, they fled to Lystra and Derbe.
And they did something that pleases the Lord very much…
they preached the gospel.
Acts 14:8 And there sat
a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from
his mother's womb, who never had walked:
Acts 14:9 The same heard
Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had
faith to be healed,
Acts 14:10 Said with a
loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
find that this man in Lystra that they came to was impotent in his
feet, having been crippled from a child.
Paul used those special apostolic powers to heal the man.
Vernon McGee said in his commentary “Paul and Barnabas had the
gifts of an apostle, the sign gifts.
They came into these places without any New Testament with
the message of the gospel. What
were their credentials? How
could they prove their message was from God?
The sign gifts were their credentials—they need them.
You and I today have the entire Bible, and what if has to
1 Cor 13:8
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they
shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether
there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 Cor 13:9
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1 Cor 13:10
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
part shall be done away.
Acts 14:11 And
when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices,
saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in
the likeness of men.
see that the man was healed both immediately and completely. God does not do things part of the way. When we are saved, it is Jesus who saves us and Jesus who
keeps us until the day of redemption.
We see the man leaped and walked as soon as he was healed, a
far cry from our so called television healers of today.
We see the people perceive that Paul and Barnabas were gods
that had come down in the likeness of men.
Acts 14:12 And they
called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the
Acts 14:13 Then the
priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and
garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the
see that they called Barnabas Jupiter and Paul Mercurius because he
was the one that spoke the most..
Jupiter was the national god of the Greeks (the Hellenic
race) as well as their perceived supreme ruler of the heathen world.
Mercurius, which they named Paul, was called Hermes, the
Greek deity, whom the Romans identified with their Mercury, the god
of commerce. Mercurius
was the son of Zeus. (Jupiter.)
Jupiter had a temple in that city and the priest of Jupiter
brought oxens and garlands unto the gates.
If allowed, he would have done sacrifice with the people
after hearing of Paul and Barnabas.
Acts 14:14 Which when
the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes,
and ran in among the people, crying out,
Acts 14:15 And saying,
Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with
you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities
unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and
all things that are therein:
Acts 14:16 Who in times
past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
Acts 14:17 Nevertheless
he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave
us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with
food and gladness.
Acts 14:18 And with
these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not
done sacrifice unto them.
Paul and Barnabas heard that the priest of Jupiter intended to offer
sacrifices to them, they did the right thing and cried out that they
were just men of like passions as they to whom they had preached.
He tells them that the very Gospel that they preached called
men to come out of false idol worship and to turn to the Living God. Paul tells them that the Living God was the one who made
heaven, earth, sea, and all things that are therein.
In verse 16, he tells them how that God in the past had
allowed all nations to walk in their own ways, but he now desired
that all men turn to the true and living God.
But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would
none of me.
So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they
walked in their own counsels.
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had
walked in my ways!
tells the people that God did not leave without leaving a witness of
himself. We know that
the stars and the handiwork of the heavens declare that there is a
God. And the rain and
fruitful seasons bear witness of God.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and
heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Paul is Stoned in Lystra
Acts 14:19 And there
came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded
the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city,
supposing he had been dead.
see that certain Jesus came all the way from Antioch and Iconium and
stirred up the people in Lystra to stone Paul.
They drew him out of the city and stoned him until they were
sure he was dead. But
God was not finished with Paul.
Remember what God had told Ananias to tell Paul right after
he was saved.
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this
man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all
that call on thy name.
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and
the children of Israel:
For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my
Paul goes to Derbe
Acts 14:20 Howbeit, as
the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the
city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 14:21 And when they
had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they
returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Acts 14:22 Confirming
the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the
faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the
kingdom of God.
see that after being left for dead, Paul rises up and he and
Barnabas go to Derbe. They
preached the gospel in that city, and then went back to the very
cities where their lives had been threatened.
It said they did this to confirm and exhort the Christians
there to go forward for the Lord. In John Calvin’s commentary on Acts, he states: “This was
the principal way to confirm; by encouraging the disciples who had
already embraced the Gospel and professed it, they urged them to
make progress. We are
far from being as ready and active as we should be, and so our
laziness needs spurs, and our coldness must be warmed.
But because God wants his people to be exercised with
different sorts of battle, Paul and Barnabas warned the disciples to
be ready to suffer hardship. It
is a very necessary warning that if we are to live devoted and holy
lives, we have to continue in the warfare in this world.
If the flesh caused us not trouble, if Satan did not scheme
against us, if wicked people did not trouble us with
stumbling-blocks, there would be nothing troublesome about
persevering; but because we are assaulted every moment, on every
side, perseverance is rare. If
we are to persist right to the end, we must be prepared for war.”
and Barnabas came not only to exhort these brethren, but also to
ordain elders (preachers or pastors) in these churches.
Paul and Barnabas return to home church Antioch
Acts 14:23 And when they
had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with
fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Acts 14:24 And after
they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Acts 14:25 And when they
had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
Acts 14:26 And thence
sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the
grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
Acts 14:27 And when they
were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all
that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith
unto the Gentiles.
Acts 14:28 And there
they abode long time with the disciples.
We see that the
scriptures declare that they fulfilled the work that God had called
for them to do. They
return back to the church that had sent them out as missionaries and
report all that the Lord had done through their efforts.
As we mentioned earlier, this is the biblical way that God
intends for mission work to be carried out.
It worked in those early days, and it will still work today.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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