In Lystra and Derbe
The Return to Antioch in Syria
Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue.
There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and
the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles
and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly
for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling
them to perform signs and wonders.
people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others
with the apostles.
was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their
leaders, to mistreat them and stone them.
they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra
and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued
to preach the gospel.
Second rejection by the Jews: In Iconium (roughly a hundred
miles to the south- east of Pisidian Antioch) they preach in the
synagogue and a number of Jews and Gentiles believe. Yet, once
again, some of the Jews refused to believe and for a second time
they are persecuted by their own people and so they leave for
Lystra (thirty miles to the south west) and then Derbe on to the
east, where they continue to preach.
In Lystra and Derbe
Paul heals a lame man
Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from
birth and had never walked.
listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him,
saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on
your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
the crowds acclaim them as gods
the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian
language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the
priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought
bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted
to offer sacrifices to them.
They struggle to calm the crowds
when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their
clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are
bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless
things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and
the sea and everything in them.
the past, he let all nations go their own way.
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.”
with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing
Jews come from the other towns and provoke opposition and Paul
is stoned so they leave for Derbe
some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over.
They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he
after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went
back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
Lystra Paul heals a man who had been lame from birth and the crowds
calls them gods. We are not told Paul preached the gospel here
but he seeks to direct these people (presumably Gentiles) towards
God and not towards them. Nevertheless the outcome is the same
as before – Jews turn up in opposition who somehow turn the crowd
against them in such measure that Paul ends up being stoned and
is dumped outside the city, being assumed dead. When the believers
go to his aid they take him into their homes and he leaves for
Derbe the next day, some sixty miles on to the east.
After Derbe they return to Antioch in Syria
preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.
Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening
the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”
and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with
prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had
put their trust.
going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, and when they
had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Passage Synopsis: In
Derbe they preach and a large number are saved. They backtrack
to the previous churches and establish them with elders. They
end up preaching in Perga down on the coast where they had originally
arrived on the mainland and then go to the port at Attalia to
embark on a ship for home.]
Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed
to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported
all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door
of faith to the Gentiles.
they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
Attalia they sail back to Antioch (their home base) where they
report to the church all that had happened and remained there.]
of Paul's First Missionary Journey: ch.13 & 14
They go to Cyprus
preach in synagogues 13:5
overcome resistance from a
sorcerer and Roman consul saved 13:11,12
Travel on to Antioch in Pisidia
preach in synagogue with good
Paul preaches his first recorded
they have a good reception
yet jealous Jews stir up opposition
and persecution 13:45-50 [Jewish rejection No.1]
they leave for Iconium 13:51
They escape to Iconium
they preach in the synagogue
and Jews & Greeks believe 14:1
again Jews stir up opposition
yet they stay there some time
performing signs & wonders as well as preaching 14:3
the opposition becomes so
great they have to leave 14:6 [Jewish rejection No.2]
They escape to Lystra
Paul heals a man lame from
the crowd calls then gods
the apostles attempt to calm
Jews from Antioch and Iconium
come and cause Paul to be stoned 14:19 [Jewish rejection No.3]
The escape to Derbe
they preach the gospel and
many are saved 14:21
they then backtrack to the
previous towns 14:22 establishing the churches with elders
they go down to and preach
in Perga 14:24,25
then make their way to the
port at Attalia before sailing back home to Antioch
is worth noting that on the mainland of Asia Minor they appear
to have travelled (including back-tracking) at least six hundred
miles, probably on foot. The clearly made many converts and established
churches in at least four towns. For their efforts three times
they attract strong verbal and physical opposition at the hands
of the Jewish populations.