Acts Chapter Fourteen part 3, A study of Acts 14:11 - 13, Acts 14:14 & 15, Acts 14:16 - 18, and Acts 14:19 & 20 with our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 14:11 - 13

"When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, 'The gods have come down to us in human form!' Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them." NIV translation

Because of what they had seen and heard, the crowd believed that their false gods had come down to them. They even wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas. This passage may seem ridiculous to us as they are clearly committing idolatry and we know that it is wrong but we have to ask ourselves if we are not in fact doing the same thing without even realizing it. Our culture elevates movie stars and other so called celebrities to an almost godlike status and we take our "sacrifices" to their altar (the box office or dvd rental store).

Acts 14:14 & 15

"But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 'Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.'" NIV translation

Here we see the example of true humble Christians. Instead of letting their ego get the better of them, Barnabas and Paul try to give the glory to God. They remind the crowd that they are merely men created by God himself and that the creator is greater than the created thing.

Acts 14:16 - 18

"'In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.' Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them." NIV translation

Paul goes on to remind the crowd that it is God who provides for them. Even as they try to give the glory to God, the people are still wanting to commit idolatry by sacrificing to them. We, like Paul, must strive to let the people know that it is God who should be glorified and not us mere men and women.

Acts 14:19 & 20

"Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe." NIV translation

So, it wasn't enough that some of the Jews had ran him out of Antioch and Iconium. Now, they followed Paul and Barnabas to Lystra to keep the people there from hearing the gospel. They tried to kill Paul by stoning him but God was with him and he lived. So, he and Barnabas dusted off their feet and left for another city. Doesn't it seem like the same sort of thing happens even today? Many people that don't want to hear the gospel go so far as to try and keep others from hearing as well. Entire countries attempt to keep the Word from their people but, just as we see with Paul and his stoning, God is still in control.

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