Paul and Barnabas in Iconium
1Paul and Barnabas went to the city of Iconium. As they did in Antioch, they entered the Jewish synagogue. They spoke to the people there. They spoke so well that many Jews and Greeks believed what they said. 2But some of the Jews did not believe. They said things that caused the non-Jewish people to be angry and turn against the believers.
3So Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium a long time, and they spoke bravely for the Lord. They told the people about God’s grace. The Lord proved that what they said was true by causing miraculous signs and wonders to be done through them. 4But some of the people in the city agreed with the Jews who did not believe Paul and Barnabas. Others followed the apostles. So the city was divided.
5Some of the Jews there, as well as their leaders and some of the non-Jewish people, were determined to hurt Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to stone them to death. 6When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they left the city. They went to Lystra and Derbe, cities in Lycaonia, and to the surrounding areas. 7They told the Good News there too.
Paul in Lystra and Derbe
8In Lystra there was a man who had something wrong with his feet. He had been born crippled and had never walked. 9He was sitting and listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him. 10So Paul shouted, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around.
11When the people saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have come down to us in the form of humans!” 12The people began to call Barnabas “Zeus,” and they called Paul “Hermes,” because he was the main speaker. 13The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas.
14But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what the people were doing, they tore their own clothes.#14:14 tore … clothes This showed they were very upset. Then they ran in among the people and shouted to them: 15“Men, why are you doing this? We are not gods. We are human just like you. We came to tell you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things. Turn to the true living God, the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.
16“In the past God let all the nations do what they wanted. 17But God was always there doing the good things that prove he is real. He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times. He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
18Even after saying all this, Paul and Barnabas still could hardly stop the people from offering sacrifices to them.
19Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and persuaded the people to turn against Paul. So they threw stones at him and dragged him out of the town. They thought they had killed him. 20But when the followers of Jesus gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas left and went to the city of Derbe.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
21They also told the Good News in the city of Derbe, and many people became followers of Jesus. Then Paul and Barnabas returned to the cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. 22In those cities they helped the followers grow stronger in their faith and encouraged them to continue trusting God. They told them, “We must suffer many things on our way into God’s kingdom.” 23They also chose elders for each church and stopped eating for a period of time to pray for them. These elders were men who had put their trust in the Lord Jesus, so Paul and Barnabas put them in his care.
24Paul and Barnabas went through the country of Pisidia. Then they came to the country of Pamphylia. 25They told people the message of God in the city of Perga, and then they went down to the city of Attalia. 26And from there they sailed away to Antioch in Syria. This is the city where the believers had put them into God’s care and sent them to do this work. Now they had finished it.
27When Paul and Barnabas arrived, they gathered the church together. They told them everything God had used them to do. They said, “God opened a door for the non-Jewish people to believe!” 28And they stayed there a long time with the Lord’s followers.