Acts Chapter 14

May 12, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 14 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 14:1-28 (NIV)
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 Gentiles believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 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 do miraculous signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the good news. 8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. 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!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 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. 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. 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. 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. 21 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 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. 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. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 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. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

Acts 14:1-7

Paul and Barnabas travel to Iconium and engage in very successful and powerful ministry. They start at the synagogues as is their custom. And, as usual, many of the religious leaders are jealous and decide they are going to stop it, this time by coming up with a plot to mistreat and stone Paul and Barnabas. Hearing of the plot, the missionaries withdraw and head over to Lystra to spread the Gospel there.

Acts 14:8-18

Apparently, there was not a synagogue in Lystra, which was a Roma colony, and so the mission starts in a different way, this time with the healing of a crippled man. This healing is very similar to the healing that happens of a crippled man in Chapter 3 under Peter’s ministry. Part of the idea of Luke is to demonstrate the equality of Apostleship between Peter and Paul. The response to the healing gets a little out of control as the locals believe that Paul and Barnabas are gods. They came running out to offer sacrifices to them, and as Paul and Barnabas realize what is happening they take quick action to tell the people that they are not Gods but that there is One True God at work in the healing of the crippled man.

The message that Paul and Barnabas preach in verses 15 through 18 is a picture of how the Gospel truth stays the same and yet the way that it is delivered depends on the listeners. This message was for people with no OT background, unlike most of the messages we have seen preached in the synagogues.

Acts 14:19-20

Interestingly, the crowd, which had wanted to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, are turned against them by some of the Jewish religious leaders. This is the second of five recorded instances where crowds are stirred up against Paul. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city thinking he was dead. Whether or not Paul was dead is not stated; probably he was unconscious and at death’s door. At any rate his recovery was so rapid as to be miraculous. I love the fact that he gets up and goes back into the city. Nananana.

Acts 14:20-21

Paul and Barnabas go to Derbe and have a very successful ministry there. Lots of people come to Jesus and they meet with no great opposition.

Acts 14:21-28

Paul and Barnabas start heading back to Antioch, visiting cities where they had ministered earlier. While they are there they appoint elders to oversee the churches that had been started.

When they arrive in Antioch, they gave the church there a report on all that had happened as the gospel had gone to the gentiles.

This concludes the first missionary journey. It took between one and two years, covered 700 miles by land and 500 miles by sea. More importantly, it tore down the wall between Jew and gentile in the church.

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