No – not that kind of stoned, silly! Are you serious???
Paul and Barnabas continue their preaching mission trip to Iconium, where they began to preach in the Jewish synagogue. A great number of Jews and Gentiles listened and believed. Yet, some of the jealous Jews plotted to have these two mistreated and stoned. They heard about the plot and escaped to Lystra.
There, Paul sees a man who had crippled feet. Apparently, this man made eye contact with Paul because the next thing we know, Paul tells this guy to stand up. Immediately, this man jumps up and starts walking. Well, the people who saw it thought Paul and Barnabas were gods from heaven! They called Barnabas Zeus and Paul they called Hermes. Even after Paul and Barnabas tried to tell them they were not gods, the people still wanted to believe they were:
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
Trouble-making Jews came from Antioch and Iconium to stir things up for Paul and Barnabas. They won the crowd over and Paul ended up being dragged outside the city, stoned and left for dead.
In a moment, from god-like status to being stoned. Perhaps these Gentiles were not yet ready to believe?
Doing what God tells you does not mean you’ll always escape persecution. Paul must have been wondering why God didn’t rescue him from this particular mob scene. I would have had questions. Yet, Paul and Barnabas continued in their mission.
Give me that kind of determination, Lord. Let me hear Your will for my life so clearly as these men so I can go with confidence.
grace & peace,