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Paul Part 10 – Iconium, Lystra, Derbe


The modern name for Iconium is Konya.

Here you can visit the museum as well as their famous mosque.

Some 80 mi. (c. 130 km.) east-southeast of Antioch was Iconium, the next place where Paul and Barnabas labored.

Great success attended their efforts (Acts 14:1), and they preached in that city a “long time,” their work being accompanied by miraculous attestations of divine favor (v 3).

Acts 14:1  Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.

nd 14:3  Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Meanwhile, the Jews who had rejected their message succeeded in turning many Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas, so that 2 factions arose in the city (vs 2, 4).

Hnd 14:2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

nd 14:4  But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

Finally it was planned to use violence against the apostles (v 5).

Hnd 14:5  And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them,

Hearing of this, they fled to “Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia” (Acts 14:6; cf. Mt 10:23), about 23 mi. (c. 37 km.) south-southwest, and 52 mi. (c. 83 km.) southeast, of Iconium, respectively.

Hnd 14:6  they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.

When I visited Lystra a relived Paul’s humiliation and stoning.

At Lystra Paul healed a man who had been a lifelong cripple (Acts 14:8–10).

nd 14:7  And they were preaching the gospel there.

Hnd 14:8  And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked.

Hnd 14:9  This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,

Hnd 14:10  said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.

This miracle led the superstitious Lystrians to conclude—probably from an ancient myth describing the gods Zeus (Jupiter) and Hermes (Mercury) as visiting that part of the world—that Barnabas and Paul were Zeus and Hermes (Acts 14:11, 12).

14:11  Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”

Hnd 14:12  And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

They prepared to offer sacrifice, and only with great difficulty was Paul able to dissuade them (vs 13–18).

Hnd 14:13  Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.

Hnd 14:14  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out

Hnd 14:15  and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,

Hnd 14:16  who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.

Hnd 14:17  Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”

Hnd 14:18  And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.

The apostle’s labors in Lystra ended when Jewish enemies from Antioch and Iconium stirred up a mob, which stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city as dead (Acts 14:19).

Hnd 14:19  Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

Miraculously preserved, Paul revived and re-entered the city, but departed the next day, accompanied by Barnabas (v 20).

Paul and Barnabas labored next at Derbe, where they probably remained for some time, for they “made many disciples” (Acts 14:20, 21, RSV).

Hnd 14:20  However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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