Posted by / Monday 6 February 2017 / No comments

The events in Iconium and Lystra during the first missionary journey

When Paul and Barnabas arrived in Iconium on their first missionary journey, they entered the Synagogue as was their custom all through their journey thus far. They preached to the people so convincingly that they all believed and gave their lives to Christ, both Jews and Greeks.

They stayed in Iconium for a while, preaching and teaching. The Lord was with them and by the hands of God they were able to wrought miracles and signs in the city.

The people of the city were divided, some took sides with the Jews and some took sides with the Apostles. Some of the Jews and the Gentiles hatched a plan with their rulers to molest Paul and Barnabas and stone them but they got wind of it and left the city for Lystra and Derbe.

In Lystra, there was a man who was lame from birth. As Paul was preaching, the lame man listened to Paul with rapt attention and when Paul looked at him intensely and perceived that he had enough faith to be made whole, he shouted and said, “Stand up and walk”. Immediately, the man stood up and walked.

When the crowd saw what had happened, they said in their language that their gods have come to them in the form of men. They called Barnabas Zeus and Paul they called Hermes because he was the spokesman of the team.

The temple of Zeus was in front of the city and the priest of the temple with his people brought some animals to come and offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. When they heard this, they tore their clothes and rushed out, saying they were just men as they were and they just came to talk to them to turn away from their vain gods and turn to the living God who made the heavens, the earth, the Sea and all that is in it. Paul said, in the past, God allowed every nation to do whatever they liked but continued to give them sustenance. With these words, the people stopped their bid to offer the sacrifice.

There were some Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium and instigated the people against Paul and Barnabas. They dragged Paul to the outskirts of the city and stoned him till they believed he was dead, and then they left. However, Paul did not die, he was only unconscious. As the disciples gathered round about him, he arose and entered the city again. From there, he and Barnabas left for Derbe where they won many souls for the Lord. From there, they came back to Lystra, Iconium and then to Antioch.

1. a. Describe the events that took place in Iconium and Lystra during the first missionary journey.
    b. Explain the attitude of the Jews in both places.

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