Events at Iconium, Lystra and Pisidian Antioch
The apostles Barnabas and Paul went to Iconium and preached in the synagogue the result being a great number of Jews and God-fearing Gentile proselytes believed. The unbelieving Jews stirred up unbelieving Gentiles to prejudicially persecute the brethren no doubt by spreading lies. The apostles stayed a while there to make the converts disciples getting them grounded in doctrine (the foundation of the apostles). The signs God enabled them to do were to authenticate their message. The final result was that the city was divided (example of the antithesis). Opposition to the apostles was going to bring about imminent attack so they fled in obedience to Christ’s teaching in Matthew 10:23.
In Lystra Paul preached and healed a lame man (possibly had congenital club feet-see pic).
We have no idea how Paul perceived this man had faith (perhaps in his eyes). Faith was not a condition to his healing (many other healings were of unbelievers or doubters or friends of believers) but faith was the means of his healing. The people of Lystra wanted to worship the apostles as gods as they were naturally idolaters.
Barnabas was called Jupiter the supreme Roman god and Paul Mercury who was the messenger of the gods. The priest was going to sacrifice an ox. Paul was upset and remonstrated with them, teaching them that they too were only men, whereas the true God was creator and oversees providence of all things. The Jews from Antioch must have spread lies perhaps about religion and threats to livelihood to sway the people. Stoning was a Mosaic capital punishment which showed utter contempt and detestation of the victim who had either blasphemed, murdered, been a rebel son, cursed or been a false prophet. Paul was badly injured but survived by the prayers of the saints and the grace of God (remember Malchus’ ear). In Derbe many were converted and made disciples. The apostles retraced their steps on their way home so they could confirm (strengthen) the faith of the disciples in the towns and exhort them to obedience, as well as ordain gifted men to eldership and thus institute churches.
Back in Antioch their sending church, they reported all that had happened on their first missionary journey, which tells us that mission is the work of the whole church (praying and supporting). They stayed there a long time to continue teaching (Paul after all was a specially gifted apostle with special unique divine revelation) alongside the other prophets in the church.
Next study (DV) Acts 15:1-29 Saturday 2nd November 2019