Acts 14

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Paul and Barnabas at Iconium

1 Now at Iconium 1they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.
2 2But the 3unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against 4the brothers.[a]
3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for 5the Lord, who bore witness to 6the word of his grace, 7granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the people of the city 8were divided; 9some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.
5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, 10to mistreat them and 11to stone them,
6 they learned of it and 12fled to 13Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country,
7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra

8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was 14crippled from birth and had never walked.
9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and 15seeing that he had faith to be made well,[b]
10 said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he 16sprang up and began walking.
11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, 17"The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
12 Barnabas they called 18Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
13 And the priest of 19Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and 20wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they 21tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,
15 "Men, 22why are you doing these things? We also are men, 23of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that 24you should turn from these 25vain things to 26a living God, 27who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
16 In past generations he 28allowed all the nations 29to walk in their own ways.
17 Yet 30he did not leave himself without witness, for he 31did good by 32giving you rains from heaven and 33fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with 34food and 35gladness."
18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

Paul Stoned at Lystra

19 36But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, 37they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had 38made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
22 39strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them 40to continue in 41the faith, and saying that 42through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had 43appointed 44elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting 45they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia.
25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia,
26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, 46where they had been 47commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled.
27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, 48they declared all that God had done with them, and 49how he had 50opened 51a door of faith to the Gentiles.
28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.

Acts 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium. (1-7) A cripple healed at Lystra, The people would have sacrificed to Paul and Barnabas. (8-18) Paul stoned at Lystra, The churches visited again. (19-28)

Verses 1-7 The apostles spake so plainly, with such evidence and proof of the Spirit, and with such power; so warmly, and with such concern for the souls of men; that those who heard them could not but say, God was with them of a truth. Yet the success was not to be reckoned to the manner of their preaching, but to the Spirit of God who used that means. Perseverance in doing good, amidst dangers and hardships, is a blessed evidence of grace. Wherever God's servants are driven, they should seek to declare the truth. When they went on in Christ's name and strength, he failed not to give testimony to the word of his grace. He has assured us it is the word of God, and that we may venture our souls upon it. The Gentiles and Jews were at enmity with one another, yet united against Christians. If the church's enemies join to destroy it, shall not its friends unite for its preservation? God has a shelter for his people in a storm; he is, and will be their Hiding-place. In times of persecution, believers may see cause to quit a spot, though they do not quit their Master's work.

Verses 8-18 All things are possible to those that believe. When we have faith, that most precious gift of God, we shall be delivered from the spiritual helplessness in which we were born, and from the dominion of sinful habits since formed; we shall be made able to stand upright and walk cheerfully in the ways of the Lord. When Christ, the Son of God, appeared in the likeness of men, and did many miracles, men were so far from doing sacrifice to him, that they made him a sacrifice to their pride and malice; but Paul and Barnabas, upon their working one miracle, were treated as gods. The same power of the god of this world, which closes the carnal mind against truth, makes errors and mistakes find easy admission. We do not learn that they rent their clothes when the people spake of stoning them; but when they spake of worshipping them; they could not bear it, being more concerned for God's honour than their own. God's truth needs not the services of man's falsehood. The servants of God might easily obtain undue honours if they would wink at men's errors and vices; but they must dread and detest such respect more than any reproach. When the apostles preached to the Jews, who hated idolatry, they had only to preach the grace of God in Christ; but when they had to do with the Gentiles, they must set right their mistakes in natural religion. Compare their conduct and declaration with the false opinions of those who think the worship of a God, under any name, or in any manner, is equally acceptable to the Lord Almighty. The most powerful arguments, the most earnest and affectionate addresses, even with miracles, are scarcely enough to keep men from absurdities and abominations; much less can they, without special grace, turn the hearts of sinners to God and to holiness.

Verses 19-28 See how restless the rage of the Jews was against the gospel of Christ. The people stoned Paul, in a popular tumult. So strong is the bent of the corrupt and carnal heart, that as it is with great difficulty that men are kept back from evil on one side, so it is with great ease they are persuaded to evil on the other side. If Paul would have been Mercury, he might have been worshipped; but if he will be a faithful minister of Christ, he shall be stoned, and thrown out of the city. Thus men who easily submit to strong delusions, hate to receive the truth in the love of it. All who are converted need to be confirmed in the faith; all who are planted need to be rooted. Ministers' work is to establish saints as well as to awaken sinners. The grace of God, and nothing less, effectually establishes the souls of the disciples. It is true, we must count upon much tribulation, but it is encouragement that we shall not be lost and perish in it. The Person to whose power and grace the converts and the newly-established churches are commended, clearly was the Lord Jesus, "on whom they had believed." It was an act of worship. The praise of all the little good we do at any time, must be ascribed to God; for it is He who not only worketh in us both to will and to do, but also worketh with us to make what we do successful. All who love the Lord Jesus, will rejoice to hear that he has opened the door of faith wide, to those who were strangers to him and to his salvation. And let us, like the apostles, abide with those who know and love the Lord.

Cross References 51

  • 1. See Acts 13:5
  • 2. See Acts 13:50
  • 3. Acts 19:9; John 3:36; Romans 15:31
  • 4. See John 21:23
  • 5. Acts 15:8; Hebrews 2:4; [Mark 16:20]
  • 6. Acts 20:32
  • 7. Acts 4:29, 30
  • 8. [Acts 23:7]
  • 9. [Acts 17:4, 5; Acts 19:9; Acts 28:24]
  • 10. 1 Thessalonians 2:2; [2 Corinthians 12:10]
  • 11. [ver. 19]
  • 12. See Matthew 10:23
  • 13. 2 Timothy 3:11
  • 14. Acts 3:2
  • 15. See Matthew 9:2
  • 16. Acts 3:8; Isaiah 35:6
  • 17. Acts 8:10; Acts 28:6
  • 18. [Acts 19:35; Acts 28:11(Gk.)]
  • 19. [See ver. 12 above]
  • 20. [Daniel 2:46]
  • 21. See Genesis 37:29
  • 22. See Acts 10:26
  • 23. James 5:17
  • 24. Acts 15:19; Acts 26:18, 20; Luke 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; [Acts 15:3; James 5:19, 20]; See Acts 9:35
  • 25. Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Samuel 12:21; Jeremiah 14:22; [1 Corinthians 8:4]
  • 26. See Matthew 16:16
  • 27. Acts 17:24; Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Psalms 146:6; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 10:6; Revelation 14:7
  • 28. [Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 4:3]
  • 29. [Psalms 81:13; Micah 4:5]
  • 30. [Acts 17:27; Romans 1:19, 20]
  • 31. Numbers 10:32
  • 32. Leviticus 26:4; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 28:12; Job 5:10; Psalms 65:10; Psalms 147:8, 18; Ezekiel 34:26; Joel 2:23
  • 33. Psalms 67:6; Psalms 85:12; Ezekiel 34:27; Joel 2:24; Zechariah 8:12
  • 34. Psalms 104:27
  • 35. Psalms 104:15
  • 36. See Acts 13:45, 50
  • 37. 2 Corinthians 11:25; [ver. 5; 2 Timothy 3:11]; See Acts 7:58
  • 38. Matthew 28:19
  • 39. Acts 15:32, 41; [Acts 18:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 13]
  • 40. Acts 13:43; Colossians 1:23
  • 41. See Acts 6:7
  • 42. John 15:20; John 16:33; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; [Acts 9:16; Mark 10:30; Luke 22:28, 29; Romans 8:17; Philippians 1:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 5:10; Revelation 1:9]
  • 43. [Titus 1:5]
  • 44. See Acts 11:30
  • 45. Acts 20:32
  • 46. Acts 13:3
  • 47. Acts 15:40
  • 48. Acts 15:4; [Acts 15:3, 12; Acts 21:19]
  • 49. [Acts 11:18]
  • 50. 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; Revelation 3:8
  • 51. [Hosea 2:15]

Footnotes 2

Acts 14 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.