At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue as usual. They spoke there with great power. Large numbers of Jews and non-Jews became believers.
But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up those who weren't Jews. They poisoned their minds against the two men and the new believers.
So Paul and Barnabas spent a lot of time there. They spoke boldly for the Lord. He gave them the ability to do miraculous signs and wonders. In this way the Lord showed that they were telling the truth about his grace.
The people of the city did not agree with each other. Some were on the side of the Jews. Others were on the side of the apostles.
Jews and non-Jews alike planned to treat Paul and Barnabas badly. Their leaders agreed. They planned to kill them by throwing stones at them.
But Paul and Barnabas found out about the plan. They escaped to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding area.
There they continued to preach the good news.
In Lystra there sat a man who couldn't walk. He hadn't been able to use his feet since the day he was born.
He listened as Paul spoke. Paul looked right at him. He saw that the man had faith to be healed.
So he called out, "Stand up on your feet!" Then the man jumped up and began to walk.
The crowd saw what Paul had done. They shouted in the Lycaonian language. "The gods have come down to us in human form!" they exclaimed.
They called Barnabas Zeus. Paul was the main speaker. So they called him Hermes.
Just outside the city was the temple of the god Zeus. The priest of Zeus brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates. He and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas.
But the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard about this. So they tore their clothes. They rushed out into the crowd. They shouted,
"Why are you men doing this? We are only human, just like you. We are bringing you good news. Turn away from these worthless things. Turn to the living God. He is the one who made the heavens and the earth and the sea. He made everything in them.
In the past, he let all nations go their own way.
But he has given proof of what he is like. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven. He gives you crops in their seasons. He provides you with plenty of food. He fills your hearts with joy."
Paul and Barnabas told them all these things. But they had trouble keeping the crowd from offering sacrifices to them.
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. They won the crowd over to their side. They threw stones at Paul. They thought he was dead, so they dragged him out of the city.
The believers gathered around Paul. Then he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
Paul and Barnabas preached the good news in the city of Derbe. They won large numbers of followers. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch.
There they helped the believers gain strength. They told them to remain true to what they had been taught. "We must go through many hard times to enter God's kingdom," they said.
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church. The elders had trusted in the Lord. Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted. They placed the elders in the Lord's care.
After going through Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas came into Pamphylia.
They preached the word in Perga. Then they went down to Attalia.
From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch. That was where they had been committed to God's grace. They had now completed the work God had given them to do.
When they arrived at Antioch, they gathered the church together. They reported all that God had done through them. They told how he had opened the way for non-Jews to believe.
And they stayed there a long time with the believers.