LIVE@5 – Friday, July 1, 2022
Acts 14:8–18 (NKJV)
8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.Acts 14:8-18
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.
This amazing story of the miracle-working power of God includes an odd and unexpected reaction from the crowd observing a healing. Paul and Barnabus were in Lystra to further spread the gospel. While there, they came across a lame man who had never walked, and–in fauth–instructed him to stand up on his feet. He obeyed, and was healed by God instantly, and began to leap and walk. The people, deceived idol worshippers, began to hail Paul and Barnabus as gods, giving the names Zeus and Hermes. Paul and Barnabus immediately told them they were just men, and that the God they served had done this miracle. They took the opportunity to teach the people about God and His wonderful provisions and blessings to His people over history. Even though they still wanted to offer sacrifices to the men, they somehow convinced them to stop and listen to them. Although there was not a great revival in Lystra, with its pervasive idolatrous influence, one thing was revealed in this setting. When people have never been introduced to the one true God, they will worship something, even one another. That is why it is so important for Christians to witness their faith and spread the good news of Christ through signs, wonders, example, testimony, and teaching/preaching. Let your faith show, even if it makes you appear as though you are a god. Let them know Who the true God is! Whether they believe or run you out of town, God will be glorified, and someone may be healed, delivered, or saved in the process. Let your light shine!
Artwork from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1678_Heiss_Paulus_und_Barnabas_in_Lystra_anagoria.JPG