Acts  ◦   Chapter 14

1Upon arriving in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas followed their usual pattern of evangelism and went to the Jewish synagogue. Their presentations of the good news were so effective that a large number of Jews and non-Jews believed them and partook of the Remedy.2But the Jews who rejected the Remedy told lies about them, stirring up the non-Jews and poisoning their minds against God's ambassadors.3So Paul and Barnabas spent many hours there speaking fearlessly for the Lord who confirmed them as distributors of the Remedy by enabling them to do miracles and wonders.4The city became divided: some sided with the rejecters of the Remedy, others with the Lord's ambassadors.5Those who rejected the Remedy, both Jews and non-Jews, plotted with their leaders to strip them, shave them bald, drag them publicly through the streets, and stone them.6But Paul and Barnabas discovered the plot and fled to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and that region of Lycaonia,7and they continued proclaiming the good news there.

8There was a crippled man in Lystra, who was paralyzed from birth and had never walked.9He embraced what Paul taught. Paul looked at him and saw that he trusted God and could be healed.10Paul called out to him, "Stand up on your feet and walk!" Instantly the man jumped up and began to walk.

11When the crowd saw Paul heal the man, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods are here among us in human form!"12They called Barnabas Zeus, and Paul–Hermes, because he was the main spokesperson.13Just outside the city was the temple of Zeus, and the priest brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he, along with the crowd, wanted to offer these as sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas.

14But when Paul and Barnabas realized what the people were doing, they tore their clothes in horror and ran into the crowd, shouting,15"Stop! What are you thinking? We are not gods! We are only human beings, just like you. We are here on behalf of the Creator God, bringing you the good news of his Remedy. He is the Designer — the One who constructed the universe, the heavens, earth, the sea, and all living things.16It is true that in times past he permitted all nations to go their own way,17but even then he did not leave them without evidence of the truth. He has revealed his character of love, the principle of giving in nature, the circle of rain, rivers and streams, the crops every season; he provides plenty of food so you never go hungry, and fills your hearts with joy."18But the crowd was so animated that even with these words, Paul and Barnabas had difficulty keeping them from sacrificing to them.

19Then some Jews who rejected the Remedy arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and won the crowd over with lies. The mob stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, assuming he was dead.20But when the members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he set out with Barnabas for Derbe.

21In that city, they proclaimed the good news about God, and a large number of people partook of the Remedy and became part of God's family–members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team. Then Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,22where they confirmed and expanded the truth amongst the Lord's spiritual health-care team, encouraging them to continue to live in harmony with God's design of love. "We must choose the right–staying loyal to love in the face of difficulty–in order to leave selfishness behind and enter into God's kingdom of love," they said.23Paul and Barnabas selected leaders of spiritual maturity, who understood God's methods of love, to oversee the spiritual development of each congregation. With fasting, and asking God's blessing, they dedicated them to the Lord, in whom they trusted.24They traveled through Pisidia, on to Pamphylia,25and after preaching in Perga, went on to Attalia.

26From Attalia they caught a ship back to Antioch, where they had been empowered by God's grace for the mission trip they just completed.27On arriving there, they gathered the Lord's spiritual health-care team together and gave them a detailed report on all that God had done through them, and how the Remedy was spreading through the non-Jewish world.28And they fellowshipped a long time with their co-workers in Christ.