They began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul Hermes… the priest of Zeus brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice to them with the crowds. Acts 14:12, 13
Barnabas and Paul travel to several key cities in Asia, preaching the gospel and establishing new churches.
While they were in Iconium, its people were deeply divided and some of them plot to kill them. So Paul and Barnabas fled to other cities and continued to preach the gospel. In the city of Lystra, when they heal a man who never walked, people believe that they are the gods.
They began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul Hermes… the priest of Zeus brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice to them with the crowds. 12, 13
The apostles stop the crowd from sacrificing to them, and preach the gospel.
Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them. 15
Soon, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium turn the people against them, and Paul is stoned and left for dead outside the town. Paul arose and moved on, establishing leaders (elders) in each church as he went along.
In one city, the apostles were worshiped as gods and in the next city they went, Paul was stoned and almost died. Neither treatments fazed the apostles.
When they were popular, they did not seize the opportunity, settle down and build a successful enterprise for themselves. When they were persecuted, they did not give up and returned home. They kept on with their missionary work moving from city to city, establishing churches and leaders as they went along.
People’s opinions can change so quickly. They’re not reliable. They don’t really know me.
Let’s not worry about it too much. Let’s not be proud, nor be discouraged. Keep walking. Keep working with my own hands while I can, trusting in my God only.
Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter… Proverbs 6:4, 5