Chased out of Antioch in Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas go singing and rejoicing down the road to Iconium. They are on the big city tour and Iconium is on a major road between Ephesus and Rome. Per usual, they enter the Jewish synagogue and start talking. It was powerful and a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.
But…and there always seems to be one…But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
So they packed it up and moved on….NO, not exactly!
They REMAINED for a long time! So they set up shop and continued to speak boldly for the Lord. And the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (They were speaking and the Lord was affirming the truth of His Word by the signs and wonders. I love how this partnership works – my job to speak the truth boldly and God’s job to do the super natural work of faith and believing.)
But the people of the city were divided – and that is the reality – not everyone will believe.
Some people don’t want to hear it and they go to extraordinary measures to turn off the sound. An attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, and now was the time to exit – stage left.
They were not at all disheartened – they just moved on to Lystra and Derbe and all around that area where they continued to preach the Gospel. (I think P&B had a perspective that is easy to lose sight of. Opposition was to be expected. It did not indicate failure. In fact it was a guarantee the Truth was being heard. There is a time to stay at it and a time to leave. God’s Word is not thwarted – it seeps in, to every open crevice – seen and unseen. Apply liberally – it will take root where the soil is right.)
He superintends the Word of His grace.
The antidote for poison is to apply the Word of Grace liberally.
About the World?
And though the curse has long be broken
Adams’ sons are still the prisoners of their fears
Rushing helter-skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears