Today’s passage: Acts 14:1-18
- Stoning was a Jewish form of execution. When stoning was threatened against Paul or other Christians, it is pretty clear who was behind the threats.
- Miracles are shown again to not be the deciding factor in bringing people to faith. When the people of Lystra saw a miracle, they attributed it to the gods of their choice. Things got worse, not better.
- To run into this frenzied crowd to stop them from worshiping false gods was dangerous. In one city, Paul and Barnabas left at the threat of violence. In another, they ran straight in.
- The difference seems to be the opportunity for ministry. In Iconium, they had been able to preach the gospel. In Lystra, the people had not yet heard.
Questions to consider:
- What method did the unbelieving Jews employ against the Paul and Barnabas in Iconium? Did they have a legitimate argument for their beliefs or was it something else? If we were to see persecution from others today, should we expect it always to be a direct attack at the gospel message? What issues could be used to poison the minds of people against Christians today?
- What pattern are we starting to see in the cities Paul and Barnabas visit? What do Paul and Barnabas want to make sure they accomplish in each place? What happens in each place once the message is shared?
- How did Paul and Barnabas respond when the people started worshiping them? What did they want more than anything else for the people in Lystra (And everywhere else)?