GOSPEL MEDITATION # 44
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra & Paul Stoned at Lystra
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From Iconium the missionaries travel some 90 miles to Lystra, a city in the province of Galatia.
- A man who had never walked is healed; Paul somehow saw, or realized he had been healed, was being healed, or would be healed. Paul asked the man to stand. He did and the viewers were shocked and impressed. They thought the gods had visited them, Zeus and Hermes. (Roman Jupiter & Mercury.)
- The citizens of Lystra though it right to honor these gods who had become men. The priests sought to offer sacrifices.
- Paul & Barnabas, likely at first misunderstanding the Lycaonian (Latin) language, rushed to halt the process.
- Paul uses the event as an opportunity to preach. This Graeco-Roman audience is not prepared to hear of the great O.T. themes so Paul speaks about General Grace or God’s care of humans by way of the natural order. He does the same at Athens and speaks of it in Romans 1:18-23.
- “Walk in their own ways” (verse 16) and “overlooked” in Acts 17:30 is in sharp distinction with Romans 1:18-23)—or so it would seem. The answer to this lies in the mystery of God.
- Those who would repress the preaching of Jesus arrived from Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium. Paul is then “stoned” and whether to death or not is not known. Paul refers to this in 2 Corinthians 11:25—“Once I was stoned.”
- Back the apostles go through the cities where they had preached the Gospel. Very courageous journey indeed!
- In the very young churches they appointed elders to care for the congregants. Thus an historical precedent is set.