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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The Acts of the Apostles

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Frameworks: Acts 14


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation.)

v.1-7 In Iconium

v.8-20 In Lystra and Derbe

v.21-28 The Return to Antioch in Syria



v.1-7 In Iconium


v.1  At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.

v.2  But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.

v.3  So 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.

v.4  The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.

v.5  There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them.

v.6,7  But 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.


[Passage Synopsis: 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.



v.8-20 In Lystra and Derbe


v.8-10 Paul heals a lame man

v.8  In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.

v.9,10  He 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.


v.11-13 the crowds acclaim them as gods

v.11  When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”

v.12  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.

v.13  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.


v.14-18 They struggle to calm the crowds

v.14  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:

v.15  “Friends, 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.

v.16  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.

v.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.”

v.18  Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.


v.19,20 Jews come from the other towns and provoke opposition and Paul is stoned so they leave for Derbe

v.19  Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.

v.20  But 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.


[Passage Synopsis: In 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.


v.21-28 After Derbe they return to Antioch in Syria


v.21,22 They 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,” they said.

v.23  Paul 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.

v.24,25 After 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.]



v.26  From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.

v.27  On 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.

v.28  And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.


[Passage Synopsis: From Attalia they sail back to Antioch (their home base) where they report to the church all that had happened and remained there.]



SUMMARY of Paul's First Missionary Journey: ch.13 & 14


13:4 They go to Cyprus

•  preach in synagogues 13:5
•  overcome resistance from a sorcerer and Roman consul saved 13:11,12

13:14 Travel on to Antioch in Pisidia

•  preach in synagogue with good effect 13:14
•  Paul preaches his first recorded sermon 13:16-41
•  they have a good reception 13:42-44
•  yet jealous Jews stir up opposition and persecution 13:45-50 [Jewish rejection No.1]
•  they leave for Iconium 13:51

14:1 They escape to Iconium

•  they preach in the synagogue and Jews & Greeks believe 14:1
•  again Jews stir up opposition 14:2
•  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]

14:6 They escape to Lystra

•  Paul heals a man lame from birth 14:8-10
•  the crowd calls then gods 14:11-13
•  the apostles attempt to calm them 14:14-18
•  Jews from Antioch and Iconium come and cause Paul to be stoned 14:19 [Jewish rejection No.3]

14:20 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 14:26


It 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.



Continue to chapter 15