Today's lesson is Paul and Barnabas in Lystra. They healed a man and the people started to worship them instead of God! This really upset them and Paul told them that they are just normal men teaching others about God that created everything!
Last week Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch and Paul preached at the synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday, old law). Remember that Paul told them about Moses and the 10 plagues and the 10 commandments. There were judges, then God gave them kings. Bulletin Board (Kings, photo above): They had Saul, then David, then Solomon, who was David's son.
Then Paul talked about Jesus. Paul talked about God’s plan and Jesus being raised from the dead. The old laws were done away with and the new laws since the death of Jesus are God’s plan for us.
Remember that the people asked Paul and Barnabas to speak to them again the next week, so they did! Almost the whole town came to hear Paul speak! There were Jews and Gentiles that listened. The Gentiles were happy to hear what Paul said, but the Jews didn’t like it.
The Jews talked some of the chief men of the city into running Paul and Barnabas out of the town. Now Paul & Barnabas have traveled to Lystra. They have been traveling for a couple of years telling people about God.
Today's Bible scripture is Acts 14:1- 23. Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium to the synagogue there and talked to a lot of people. They spoke boldly about Jesus, and did “signs and wonders”, which are miracles.
Read Acts 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
The city was divided, some believed what they were saying and some didn’t. There was a violent attempt by both the Jews and Gentiles to stone Paul and Barnabas! (vs. 5) And when Paul and Barnabas became aware what was happening, they left and went to Lystra.
At Lystra, there was a man that has been crippled from birth. He has never walked. (vs. 8) He was listening to Paul preach the gospel. When Paul saw that he had faith to be healed, Paul said in a loud voice: “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and walked!! Perfectly!! Think about this, he had never walked and now he’s walking like he’d always done it! He didn’t go for physical therapy or to a doctor for help in training, he got up and walked!
When the people saw this, they started to shout that the gods have come in the bodies of men. Not God in Heaven, but idols. Remember what God says about idols? One of the 10 commandments: Thou shalt not worship idols. (Exodus 20:3-5) We’ll talk more about idols in a later lesson.
The people thought that what they had done in curing the crippled man was so great that they thought they had to be some kind of Greek gods! (They thought Barnabas was Hermes and Paul was Zeus because Paul was the main speaker.) The priest that worshipped idols, came with oxen so he could sacrifice the ox in front of the people.
When Paul and Barnabas heard about that, they tore their clothes and ran into the group of people asking “why are you doing this?” We are just normal men preaching about God Who created the heaven and the earth and everything in them.
The Jews from Antioch were there and they talked the people into stoning Paul. They dragged him out of the city and stoned him. Remember we talked about Stephen being stoned to death and Paul watching. Now Paul is being stoned. The people left Paul laying on the ground, thinking he was dead. But the Christians took Paul back to the city and the next day, Paul left with Barnabas and traveled to Derbe.
You can see this lesson with different ideas here.