Wednesday, August 22, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 14



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO Acts ~ Chapter 14

At Iconium they went together into a Jewish synagogue and preached in such a way that a large number believed, both Jews and Greeks. At this, the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the disciples. Nevertheless, they remained there quite a while and preached with boldness, trusting in Adonai Yeshua. He gave His approval to the preaching of His grace by letting both signs and miracles be done by them. The people of the city were divided in opinion, some siding with the Jews and some with the apostles. Finally, there was an attempt on the part of both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with the authorities, to insult and stone them.

When they became aware of this danger, they fled to Lystra and Derbe, also towns of Lycaonia, and to the neighboring countryside. And there, too, they preached the Gospel. In Lystra there sat a lame man, a cripple from birth, who had never walked. This man listened to Paul speaking. Paul was watching him and saw that he believed that he could be healed. So Paul spoke to him in a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet!” And he sprung up and walked. When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in their Lycaonian dialect, ‘It is the gods! They have come down to us in the likeness of men.’ And Barnabas they called Zeus (Jupiter), while Paul was named Hermes (Mercury) because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple stood at the entrance of the city, came together with crowds of people bringing oxen and wreaths, wishing to sacrifice them. When Paul and Barnabas – the Apostles – discovered what was going on, they rushed into the crowd, tearing their clothes and crying out, “Why are you doing this? We are simply men with the same kind of feelings as you have. We preach the glad tidings that you should turn away from such superstitions to the living God, Who made the heavens and the earth; the sea and all that is in them. In bygone ages He permitted the Gentiles to walk in their own ways. Yet, even so, He has not left them without any witness. He has showered blessings, sending rains u us from the skies and giving fruitful seasons, supplying us with food in plenty and our hearts with gladness.’ Even with such arguments they could hardly stop the crowds from sacrificing to them. In the meantime, however, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and influenced the mob, so they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, leaving him here for dead.

Paul revived and got up just as many of the disciples had gathered around him. He went back to the city, and the next day he set out with Barnabas for Derbe. In that city, too, they preached the Gospel and won many disciples, after which they returned by way of Lystra and Iconium and Antioch. In each place they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to be true to The Faith, and reminded them that to enter the kingdom of Elohei we must suffer many hardships. In every congregation they had elders appointed for them, and, with prayer and fasting, these were dedicated to Adonai on Whom they believed. Then they went on farther and, passing through Pisidia, they came to Pamphilia. After that, they preached the Word in Perga and came down to Attalia. Next, they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commissioned by the grace of Elohei to do the work they now had completed.

On their arrival, they called the congregation together and gave a report of everything that Elohim had done for them on the trip, and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Then, for quite a long time they stayed there with the disciples.