8 While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting 9 and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. 10 So Paul called to him in a loud voice, "Stand up!" And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.
What an amazing miracle! A man who was born crippled that never had the joy of walking through a plush meadow, jogging on a sandy beach or walking in the snow; this man had never stood in church, never walked his daughter down the aisle, but rather had to be carried wherever he went but we find him sitting and building his faith as Paul preached. As the crippled man listened to the preaching, his faith began to grow and Paul, through the gift of discernment, knew he had the faith to be healed; notice what did not happen, he did not even lay a hand on the crippled man but rather shouted “Stand Up” and he jumped to his feet and started walking for the first time in his life! I want to see this happen over and over again in this region.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, "These men are gods in human form!" 12 They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. 13 Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles.
It’s hard to explain a miracle and these local people, who didn’t have a Bible, didn’t know about Jesus except what Paul was preaching to them, only wanted to honor the men of God but they went about it totally wrong.
14 But when Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting,
As you can tell from Paul and Barnabas’ response they did not want to receive any honor or glory because they knew without Father God working through them, they were nothing and then we read what they said:
15 "Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 16 In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, 17 but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts." 18 But even with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.
Once again the people were just trying to thank Paul and Barnabas but Father God will not share His Glory.
19 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. 20 But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
This is so amazing! One moment they were wanting to praise and honor them, treating them like little gods and now some false teaching Jews show up and the crowd turns their back on Paul and Barnabus. In fact they stoned Paul on the spot and dragged him out of town to leave him but he was not dead. The fact was he got up, went back into town and left town the next day.
Never accept the praise of man, number one: because only Father God deserves the praise and number two: man can easily turn against you. Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord and not unto man knowing Father God keeps good records and gives our great rewards.
Prayer Points: 1. Father God help us to learn to hear your voice and be as close to you as Paul was. 2. Help us to never get our eyes on the praise of man but focus on pleasing you day by day.