Wednesday 21 May 2014

Bible Book:

“... yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good – giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.” (v. 17)

Acts 14:8-18 Wednesday 21 May 2014


In a rather comical episode, the healing of a man at Lystraleads to Paul and Barnabas being mistaken for Hermes and Zeus.These Jewish missionaries who have been rejected by their owncommunity in Iconium are now taken to be Greek gods! The peoplerush to offer sacrifice, declaring that the gods have come to themin human form. Such is their enthusiasm that Paul and Barnabas haveto shout to be heard. Despite their assertions that they are mortaland their declaration of the one living God, they "scarcelyrestrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them" (v. 18).

This is an important encounter, for the people have no Jewishbackground to which Paul can appeal. He does not attempt to speakto them about Jesus, but begins where they are. He points to natureand speaks of the God who created it all. He reasserts that thereis one God of all. The good news is not of humans with god-likepowers, but of the one living God. God who created "the heaven andthe earth and the sea and all that is in them" (v. 15) is the onlyone worth worshipping.

Paul does not expand upon this pronouncement. He does not preachabout repentance, or urge any response. He does not tell the storyof Jesus. The gospel is first about God.

To Ponder

  • What can Paul's message to the heathen Gentiles (non Jews)teach us about sharing the good news?
  • Where do you see God in the world around you?
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