And there they preached the Gospel. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed. Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 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. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 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. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 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: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 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. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. And there came thither certain Jews from
and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 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. Acts, Chapter 14, verses 7-20. Antioch
In some bizarre way, I think I now understand why the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the mythical gods for so long. They must have seen the disciples doing miracles and thought they were gods. They got so caught up in these mythological gods that they never paid attention to what the disciples were telling them about Jesus and Salvation.
It’s funny how over time man has created elaborate explanations for the things that God has done rather than acknowledge God. There is a religious group that professes to be Christian but can’t acknowledge God. They have to have some logical explanation for miracles and other things rather than just believing in Him. Some groups feel that utilizing the “god power within them,” brings about the desired things in their life. Others use the “power of positive thinking” and some “visualize” themselves getting the job they desire. They don’t truly realize that they aren’t giving God the credit when they think that they got the job through the “god power within them.”
When I go for a job interview, I ask God to take care of the things I say and whether I get the job or not, whichever way is His will. I feel positive that God knows what is best for me and my family, so I am happy whether I get the job or not. That doesn’t mean I might not be somewhat disappointed if I didn’t get the job, but I only want the job that God thinks is best for my particular situation.
Although God says in the Bible that He dwells within each of us; I don’t think it’s this same “god power” that I hear this group speaking of. Everything I have read in the Bible, and I have read it from cover to cover 16 plus times, tells us that God wants us to turn to Him in everything, not to the “god power that lies within us” or “to visualize things the way we want them to be.”
I really have a personal concern, because I worry that some well-meaning people may be led astray. They may believe what seems convenient or more understandable to them rather than believe in God like the people in this passage who couldn’t believe that the disciples were doing these miracles on God’s behalf. That defied all logical explanation, so they chose to believe that the disciples were gods instead.
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of Salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers. Acts, Chapter 16, verses 16-19.
I’m going to skip some verses to get to the part where Paul is imprisoned.
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. Acts, Chapter 16, verses 23-36.
There’s more to the story. Paul wouldn’t leave the prison because they had been publicly chastised and the magistrates were trying to secretly let them out. Paul wanted to be publicly cleared of all the charges, which eventually happened.
This passage makes me think of how perfectly God looks after the people that spread His Word. I was thinking of Daniel in the lion’s den and how he wasn’t harmed. It brings to mind lots of others, as well. Noah and his family were saved from the flood by God letting him know he was to build an ark. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were not burned in the fiery furnace. Peter was let out of jail by the angel. The list of miracles, where God distinctly protects those that are doing His will, goes on and on. It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone wouldn’t want God in their corner. I sure do!
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of
, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. Acts, Chapter 17, verses 22-29. Athens
This reminds me of when my mother told me about intercourse and how babies are conceived when I was really young. I have to admit it’s a pretty strange connection to make with this passage.
I was very young when my mother explained about babies being conceived. In fact, I don’t really remember her telling me. The thing is, she did tell me the truth and not some story, just like Paul told them the truth about God and not some story.
Years later, I heard some really far-fetched explanations from fellow students that didn't make sense to me. Fortunately, I asked my mother to explain? This really confused her because she had already told me the truth and I had chosen to believe a far-fetched story instead. Well, it seems very similar here. Paul told them the truth about God, but they chose to believe some far-fetched story and worship idols made by man’s hands instead. How sad!
Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.
These are other blogs I felt led to create:
These are other blogs I felt led to create:
This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections.
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie