This chapter is loaded with wild moments of miracles, crippled men walking, the people thinking Barnabas was Zeus and Jewish leaders poisoning the mind of new converts. If we could take away one lesson from this chapter, it would be this; God still met the needs of the hungry and searching people regardless of the chaotic climate.
The crippled man looked at Paul and Paul could see he had faith to be healed. “and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.”
The apostles saw one disabled man amidst the chaos, and this man had great faith. Oh, to have eyes to see the ones who are looking for a miracle. Yet this miracle created another issue. The people who saw the wonderful event went nutso. They were convinced the apostles were gods. The mob desperately wanted to worship Paul and Barney. “They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker.” Acts of the Apostles 14:12 NLT
Mobs were forming due to the miracles and they hungered to worship this power. They were pounding at the gate, ready to sacrifice bulls. And the apostles couldn’t convince them otherwise. They weren’t flattered by the praise or hindered by the hate. Instead, they sought the ones who were seeking THEE ONE! So naturally, the Jewish leaders spun the narrative. In a flip of the switch, the mob went from wanting to worship them wanting to stone them. How did admirers make that jump? Because if you don’t want to hear the truth, you are easy to deceive. The mob didn’t want to listen to who the power came from; they wanted it to fit into what they already believed. The Jewish leaders didn’t care if the mob wanted to believe in a false god, as long as they didn’t buy into Jesus and his power. So, the best thing the leaders could do; stir up more division and get the mob to agree on one thing-Paul and Barnabas must die.
And once again, the thing that is obvious in this chapter: jealousy spurred division, and where there is opposition, there will always be miracles!
I hope this chapter brings revelation to you and the times we are living in. Regardless of the division and disagreements in the air, there are still needs looking for miracles and a world desperate for Jesus. I desire to be like Paul in this; seeing the needs and meeting the needs. Preaching with boldness and pointing to the one who does the miracles.
“Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!”