Acts 14

This is what happened in Iconium

1 When Paul and Barnabas arrived in Iconium, they did the same as they had done before. They went to the Jewish meeting place and they spoke God's message there. They spoke very clearly, so that many Jews and Gentiles believed in Jesus. 2 But some of the Jews refused to believe God's message. They told the Gentiles that they too should not believe it. The Jews put bad thoughts into the minds of the Gentiles so that they became angry against the believers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium for a long time. They were not afraid to tell people the message about the Lord Jesus. The Lord gave them power to do miracles. These showed the people that God was with Paul and Barnabas and that their message was true. They taught that God saves people because he is very kind. 4 The people in the city did not agree with each other. Some of them believed the message from the apostles, Paul and Barnabas. But some people agreed with the Jews who did not believe their message. 5 Some of the Jews and the Gentiles met with their leaders. They decided to do bad things to Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to throw stones at them and kill them. 6 Paul and Barnabas heard that these people wanted to hurt them. So they left Iconium quickly and they went to Lystra and Derbe, and other places near there. These cities were in the region called Lycaonia. 7 In all these places, they continued to tell people the good news about Jesus.

This is what happened in Lystra

8 There was a man who lived in Lystra. His feet had been weak since he was born. So he had never been able to walk. 9 While Paul was speaking God's message, this man listened to him. Paul looked at him carefully. He could see that the man believed in Jesus. The man believed that God could make him well. 10 So Paul said to him loudly, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ Immediately the man jumped up and he began to walk about.

11 The crowd saw what Paul had done. They began to shout in their own language that the people of Lycaonia spoke. ‘The gods have become like men and they have come down from the sky to us,’ they said. 12 They called Barnabas ‘Zeus’. They called Paul ‘Hermes’, because he was the one who spoke the message to the people.

14:12Zeus and Hermes were the names of two Greek gods. Zeus was the leader of the Greek gods. And Hermes was the god who gave messages from Zeus to the people.

13 The temple of Zeus was very near to the town. The priest who worked there brought bulls and flowers to the town gate. Many people had come together in that place. The priest and the crowd wanted to kill the animals as sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas.

14:13They thought that Paul and Barnabas were gods that they should offer sacrifices to.

14 Paul and Barnabas heard what the people wanted to do. So they tore their own clothes to show that they were very upset. They ran into the middle of the crowd, 15 and they shouted, ‘Stop! You people should not do this. We are only men like you. We are not gods. We came here to tell you some good news about the great God. You must stop worshipping these gods who are really nothing. Instead worship the God who lives. He made the sky, the earth and the sea. He also made everything that is in them.

16 In past times, God let people everywhere do what they wanted to do. 17 But God has showed everybody very clearly what he is like. He has showed you that he is kind. He causes the rain to fall from the sky. He causes the plants to give you food at the right time each year. He gives you plenty of food to eat. In these ways he makes you very happy.’

18 Even when Paul had said all this, the people still wanted to offer sacrifices to him and Barnabas. Finally Paul and Barnabas were able to stop them.

19 Then some Jews arrived there in Lystra. They had travelled from Antioch and from Iconium. They talked to the people, so that they turned against Paul. Then these Jews threw stones at Paul to kill him. They pulled his body to outside the town. They thought that he was dead. 20 But some believers came out from the town and they stood around Paul. Then Paul stood up! He went back with them into the town.

Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch in Syria

The next day, Paul and Barnabas left Lystra and they went to Derbe. 21 While they were there, they told people the good news about Jesus. Many people in Derbe became believers. After that, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra. From there they went back to Iconium. Then they returned to Antioch in the region of Pisidia. 22 In all these towns, they taught the believers to be strong. They said to them, ‘Continue to trust in the Lord Jesus! All believers will have trouble at different times. That will continue to happen in our lives. But one day we will go into the kingdom of God where he rules.’

23 Paul and Barnabas chose leaders for each group of believers in these places. They fasted and they prayed to God for some time about this. They asked the Lord Jesus to help these leaders who trusted in him.

24 Then Paul and Barnabas travelled through Pisidia. They arrived in Pamphylia. 25 They spoke God's message to the people in Perga. Then they went down to the coast, to the town of Attalia.

26 From there they went in a ship back to Antioch. That was the place where the believers had chosen them to do God's work. They had asked God to help Paul and Barnabas in this work. Now Paul and Barnabas had finished this work and they had returned home. 27 When they arrived, they sent a message to the group of believers in Antioch. When all the believers had come together, Paul and Barnabas told them about their journey. They told the believers about everything that God had helped them to do. They said, ‘God has made it possible now for Gentiles to believe in Jesus.’

28 Paul and Barnabas stayed there with the believers in Antioch for a long time.