Posts Tagged ‘Paul’s first missionary journey’

Acts 14:24-28 Testimony Time

A fond farewell to new brothers and sisters

Paul and Barnabas make their way home. We have read that they already passed back through Lystra, Iconium and Antioch. They retraced their steps as far as Perga before setting sail back home from Attalia.

I’m going to confess right now that today’s reading doesn’t leave me with a lot of excitement. I already told you before that the “they went here, then there” verses are harder for me to dig into. But when they get home it does ignite in me a bit of curiosity so that is where I want to go today.

We know that the elders of the churches in Antioch had been present and praying when the Holy Spirit commanded Paul and Barnabas to set out on their mission trip. Now they are back with those same people. I have a feeling that EVERYONE from those churches had gathered to hear what Paul and Barnabas had to say. Read more »

Acts 14:19-23 Left For Dead

Even this doesn’t stop God’s plans!

When we left our intrepid missionaries they were stopping the people from worshiping them as gods. The people were so in awe of the miracle God had performed through them that they thought them gods themselves; Zeus and Hermes. NOT SO said Paul. We rejoin the story where some of the dissenting Jews from previous stops show up to stir up the crowd against Paul and Barnabas.

I’m curious to know if the Jews showed up at in the same crowd we were just reading about or if they came in a little later and poisoned all the crowds in general. I find it hard to understand how they could turn the crowd so quickly from adoration to aggression if it was the same day. I’m also wondering what it is that they said to the crowds that got them so worked up. To go from trying to install someone as a god to dragging them through the streets and engaging in killing them seems like a HUGE swing of the pendulum. How did they get there? Read more »

Acts 14:8-18 I’m A Man Too

They were looking at the wrong source

Not me personally, I’m a woman but that is beside today’s point. I was bemoaning the fact that we didn’t have detailed accounts lately of what was going on during Paul’s journey. Moan no more! Today we get to watch as a group tries to elevate them to god status.

Paul and Barnabas have just narrowly escaped being stoned AGAIN but they were not silenced. They just moved on to somewhere else to share God’s word. They are in Lystra today.

While Paul is teaching he notices a man in the crowd who is intently listening to every word being spoken. His expression leaves no doubt in the disciple’s mind that this man is drinking in and accepting the word of faith being shared. Paul keeps watching his throughout his presentation of the gospel and his spirit is burning with compassion for the man. Read more »

Acts 14:1-7 A City Divided

Too bad many are pulling up the bricks instead of laying them down

On to the next leg of Paul and Barnabas’ missionary journey. They shook the dust of Antioch off their feet and headed for Iconium. This stop lasts for quite a while.

I’m going to make a confession to you. I miss Jesus’ parables. I find it hard to say much beyond what is written in the scriptures in our study. I miss being able to dive in and hunt for deeper understanding. I have a few questions that today’s reading sparks but they are ones that can’t be answered until I get to meet these people “face to face.” More bench time questions.

I want to share my questions and observations anyway so here goes. Read more »

Acts 13:13-52 Fickle Fellows

We are in Galatia!

Today’s reading is very long! We continue on with Paul, Barnabas and John Mark as they move on in their first missionary journey. John mark leaves from Pamphylia and heads back to Jerusalem before we get to the second Antioch in Pisidia. This is not the same Antioch that sent them out but another location all together. This Antioch is actually in Galatia. We aren’t told why John Mark leaves but it will become an issue for Paul when considering who to take on future journeys.

Paul and Barnabas make a point of always starting their visits to each new city by presenting the gospel to the Jews first. So, as usual, they find themselves in the synagogue come the Sabbath. I find it quite interesting that the rulers of the synagogue asked them to speak. I would think that their fame would precede them and the religious leaders would want to avoid giving them a platform to teach from. Did this group know Paul from his early years, before becoming a Christian? What were they expecting them to say? Maybe it was simply standard practice to allow and encourage visiting ministers to share with the people. Read more »