Acts 14

Those who speak boldly in the Lord need not think it strange, if the preaching of the Gospel occasions divisions, nor be offended by the insults heaped upon them by embittered and convicted spirits. They shall be made strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and God shall confirm their testimony in granting wonders to be done by their hands.

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.

2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

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.

4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

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,

6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

7 And there they preached the gospel.

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:

9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

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.

12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

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 people.

14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

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:

16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

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.

18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.

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.

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.

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,

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.

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.

24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.

25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

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.

28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

Acts 14:1-13 – ​Varying Treatment of the Message

   From Antioch the Apostles passed to Iconium, the capital of Lycaonia. It is most illuminating to note the source of their success: The Lord bore witness unto the word of His grace. We must not expect success if that divine witness is absent. There is nothing more vital than this. The secret of joyful and successful service is the consciousness that, in every sermon and address, there is an unseen fellow-worker who is listening to each sentence and punctuating with his strong affirmation each utterance which magnifies the grace of God.
   Lystra was situated in the highlands, amid a wild, mountainous country. In Paul’s audience here he saw a cripple who had faith to be healed, Acts 14:9. What quick insight God gives the soul that lives in fellowship with Him! There was an old tradition that the gods had frequented this very region. Jupiter, the father of the gods, was the guardian deity of Lystra. There was, accordingly, an especial reason for the excitement among these simple and untutored folk. Man has ever longed for a daysman, and believed that there might be commerce between heaven and earth. Oh, that we were as quick to worship and adore the Son of God! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Acts 14:3—Granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

​   There is no source of encouragement more fruitful of help than the co-witness and co-working of the Holy Spirit. Those who are filled with the Spirit are called into communion, i.e., partnership, with Him in his work. they work from the outside, He works from within; they sow the seed, He waters it abundantly. We must be very careful to be such in character and teaching that He may cooperate with us. Our hands must be very clean, if He, with an infinite condescension, is to grant signs and wonders to be wrought by them. But when we work with Him, and He with us, the results are beyond measure astonishing, and his alone.
   “We are now seven years in this land,” wrote one of Gossner’s missionaries from the land of the Kohls in India; “but through these long years it was but trial of our patience and endurance…. Everything seemed to be in vain, and many said the mission was useless. Then the Lord Himself kindled a fire before our eyes; and it seized not only single souls, but spread from village to village; and from every side the question was borne to us, What shall we do? How shall we be saved? And I thought it was no more a heathen land I was in, but a Christian, and at home.”
   Deus habet horas et moras, says the old proverb. God has his seasons and delays. We do not at once see the result of our sowings, toils, and tears; but we are conscious that our work is with our God—we know that we have our petitions, and we rejoice in hope. We must go on uttering “the word of his grace”—the grace that chooses such rebels to be his children; that cleanses them from sin; that restores and keeps and sanctifies. —Our Daily Homily

Acts 14:14-28 – ​Establishing the New Believers

   In Paul’s address we have distinct anticipations of the early chapters of the Epistle to the Romans. How fickle a mob is! Now, enthusiastic loyalty; again, disappointment and rejection. Today, “Hosanna;” tomorrow, “Crucify.” “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils” (Isaiah 2:22).
   It has been supposed by some that the trance of II Corinthians 12 took place at the time of Paul’s stoning in Lystra. It must have been sorrow indeed to awaken from such a vision to the suffering of his battered body. But that scene, no doubt, gave him the love and devotion of the young Timothy and his mother and grandmother. See Acts 16:1-2. On Paul’s next visit to Lystra, this son, whom he had begotten in the sore anguish of that hour, was to become his devoted attendant.
   In spite of the treatment Paul had received, he returned to the city, Acts 14:21. Back to the stones! Naught could stay his ardent spirit, if only disciples were to be won or confirmed in their faith for the Master, Acts 14:22. Everywhere these intrepid missionaries found the blood-stained track of the Cross, but they filled up to the brim the measure of their opportunity. This will be possible for us all only when we are such that God can co-operate with us as our fellow-worker and open the door. —Through the Bible Day by Day