Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.CHAPTER 14
1. The work in Iconium and the persecution of the Apostles (Acts 14:1-6). 2. In Derbe and Lystra; the Impotent Man healed (Acts 14:7-18). 3. The Stoning of Paul and further ministries (Acts 14:19-24). 4. The Return to Antioch (Acts 14:25-28).
2. In Derbe and Lystra; the Impotent Man healed (Acts 14:7-18).
3. The Stoning of Paul and further ministries (Acts 14:19-24).
4. The Return to Antioch (Acts 14:25-28).
Iconium was a Phrygian town, bordering on Lycaonia. Here again the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles. They abode there a long time, and in spite of opposition and persecution they spoke with much boldness the Word of God. Signs and wonders were also done by their hands. When their lives were threatened by the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, they fled to Lystra and Derbe.
Derbe was the home of a pious Jewess by name of Eunice. She had married a Greek, who had died. Her son was Timotheus and she lived with her mother Lois (Acts 16:1-3; 2Timothy 1:5). In Lystra another lame man is healed by the power of God. The ignorant heathen, seeing the miracle, thought the two apostles were gods and attempted to worship them. They abhorred their proceedings and refused the honor of men.
The enemy lurked behind this, no doubt, but the grace of God gave to the apostles the power to act as they did. How much of such idolizing is going on in modern days; how men, professedly the servants of the Lord, seek and love the honor and praise of men, is too evident to be mentioned. Seeking honor from men and having delight in the applause of the “religious world” is a deadly thing, for it dishonors Christ, to whom all honor and glory is due. And how much of all this there is in the present day! It is but the result of not giving the Lord Jesus Christ the preeminence.
Jews then appeared coming from Iconium and Antioch and stirred up the people against them. The mass of people who were ready to worship Barnabas and Paul changed quickly and stoned Paul. Most likely the fury turned against him because he had been instrumental in healing the crippled man. As the stones fell upon him, must he not have remembered Stephen? And may he not have prayed as Stephen did? And after they thought him dead, they dragged his body out of the city. But the Lord, who had announced such suffering for him, had watched over his servant. He was in His own hands, as every child of God is in His care. The enemy who stood behind the furious mob, as he stood behind the attempt to sacrifice unto them, would have killed Paul. But he could not touch Paul’s life, as he was not Permitted to touch the life of another servant of God, Job (Job 2:6). His sudden recovery was supernatural. He refers in 2Corinthians 11:25 to this stoning, “Once I was stoned.” Another reference to Lystra we find in his second Epistle to Timothy: “Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me” (2Timothy 3:11). Blessed be His name, He is the same Lord still and Will deliver them that trust in Him.
Then after additional testimony in Lystra and a visit to Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia, to build up the disciples and to strengthen them, they terminate this first great journey by returning to the place from which they had started.