In Iconium, a Paul and Barnabas went together to the synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Gentiles believed.
But the Jews who spurned God's message stirred up distrust among the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas, saying all sorts of evil things about them.
The apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. The Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.
But the people of the city were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
A mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them.
When the apostles learned of it, they fled for their lives. They went to the region of Lycaonia, to the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area,
and they preached the Good News there.
While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked.
He was listening as Paul preached, and Paul noticed him and realized he had faith to be healed.
So Paul called to him in a loud voice, "Stand up!" And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.
When the listening crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, "These men are gods in human bodies!"
They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul, because he was the chief speaker, was Hermes.
The temple of Zeus was located on the outskirts of the city. The priest of the temple and the crowd brought oxen and wreaths of flowers, and they prepared to sacrifice to the apostles at the city gates.
But when Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting,
"Friends, b why are you doing this? We are merely human beings like yourselves! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.
In earlier days he permitted all the nations to go their own ways,
but he never left himself without a witness. There were always his reminders, such as sending you rain and good crops and giving you food and joyful hearts."
But even so, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.
Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead.
But as the believers c stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned again to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia,
where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.
Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church and prayed for them with fasting, turning them over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had come to trust.
Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia.
They preached again in Perga, then went on to Attalia.
Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun and where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported about their trip, telling all that God had done and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.
And they stayed there with the believers in Antioch for a long time.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)