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Acts 14

Opposition to the work of preaching
Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue, and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 Therefore they stayed there for a long time speaking boldly in the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the crowd of the city was divided; part held with the Jews and part with the apostles. 5 And when there was an attempt by the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, to treat them shamefully and to stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region. 7 And there they preached the gospel.
   8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled since birth and had never walked. 9 The same listened to Paul speaking. Paul looked at him intently and perceiving that he had faith to be made whole, 10 said with a loud voice: Stand upright on your feet! And he leaped up and walked. 11 And when the crowd saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia: The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men! 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Jupiter, whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and would have done sacrifice with the crowds.
   14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes and ran in among the crowd, crying out and saying: 15 Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 Who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave you rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness.
   18 Even with these words the people were scarcely restrained from offering sacrifice to them.
   19 But there came Jews from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up and entered into the city, and the next day he went with Barnabas to Derbe.
   21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God. 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed
   24 And they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 And from there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. 27 And when they had come and had gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done through them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed no little time with the disciples.


14:1 In such a way- Their style of preaching resulted in the conversions. God has delegated the salvation of others into our hands; how far it prospers depends to some extent upon our efforts and attention to style.

14:7 Again, persecution, opposition and slander campaigns against God’s people only resulted in the Gospel being spread yet further.

14:17 The natural creation, e.g. the rain and seasons, is in fact a witness from God which thoughtful people will perceive.

14:22 Tribulations- We cannot expect Christianity to be an easy ride. Our salvation is through many traumas in this life, and God won’t always preserve us from them, but rather He works through them so that we might come to His Kingdom when Jesus returns.

14:27 God opens doors to those who knock (Lk. 11:9). Maybe there had been Gentiles who had been begging for acceptance by God in His Messiah / Son, and so God worked through the persecution of the Jewish Christians, and in the life of Paul, to ensure that this happened.