ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Paul and Barnabas likewise went into the Jewish synagogue and preached in such a manner
that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.
But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the pagan people and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
In spite of this
Paul and Barnabas spent a considerable time there.
They spoke fearlessly of the Lord,
who confirmed the message of his grace with the miraculous signs and wonders he gave them power to do.
There, too, to the entire town was stirred by the Teaching.
They were divided,
some siding with the Jews and some with the apostles.
A move was made by pagans and Jews, together with the leaders, to harm the apostles and to stone them.
But Paul and Barnabas learned of this
and fled to the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued preaching the Good News.
Paul and Barnabas spent a fairly long time at Lystra.
There was a crippled man in Lystra who had never been able to stand or walk.
One day, as he was listening to the preaching,
Paul looked intently at him and saw that he had the faith to be saved.
So he spoke to him in a loud voice,
“In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
I command you to stand up on your feet!” And the man stood up and began to walk around.
When the people saw what Paul had done, they cried out in the language of Lycaonia,
“The gods have come to us in human likeness!”
They named Barnabas Zeus,
and Paul they called Hergest, since he was the chief speaker.
Even the priest of the Temple of Zeus, which stood outside the town,
brought oxen and garlands to the gate;
together with the people, he wanted to offer sacrifice to them.
When Barnabas and Paul heard this,
they tore their garments to show their indignation and rushed into the crowd, shouting,
why are you doing this?
We are human beings with the same weakness you have
and we are now telling you to turn away from these useless things to the living God
who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed each nation to go its own way,
though he never stopped making himself known;
for he is continually doing good,
giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons,
providing you with food and filling your hearts with gladness.”
Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the people against them.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, leaving him for dead.
But when his disciples gathered around him,
he stood up and returned to the town.
And the next day he left for Derbe with Barnabas.
After proclaiming the gospel in that town and making many disciples,
they returned to Lystra and Iconium and on to Antioch.
They were strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain firm in faith, for they said,
“We must go through many trials to enter the Kingdom of God.”
In each church they appointed elders and, after praying and fasting,
they commended them to the Lord in whom they had placed their faith.
Then they travelled through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.
They preached the Word in Perga and went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed back to Antioch,
where they had first been commended to God’s grace for the task they had now completed.
On their arrival they gathered the Church together
and told them all that God had done through them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the non-Jews.
They spent a fairly long time there with the disciples.