Once again, we see that the Jews were enraged with jealousy. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave (Song 8:6). Anyone who has this spirit cannot rest. The Jews “evil affected” the minds of Paul's listeners. The tongue of a person with jealousy has more poison than the Aids virus. The peculiar thing about revival is the fact that revivals are usually opposed most by those inside the house of faith, not those from the outside. It was the unbelieving Jews, not the Gentiles, who rejected them.
Our greatest troubles often come from those who should have been the first to believe.
14:3 “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. Because “a great multitude both the Jews and Greeks believed,” (v1) the apostles stayed in Iconium a long time and this became another fruitful field. Back home in Antioch, Syria the saints were praying earnestly.
14:4 “But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.” The Gospel always brings “division.” Doctrine divides—it is supposed to. It divides: soul from spirit, the holy from the profane, the clean from the unclean, truth from error, and the sheep from goats (Lk.12:51-53, Ezk. 44:23). Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium “a long time” speaking boldly, and the Lord confirmed His Word with signs and wonders. As God was moving, Satan also began to move. Then the brethren fled to two nearby cities—Lystra and Derbe.
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