PaulA Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More and BarnabasChristian missionary and companion of Paul on his early journeys. More go to Lystra and heal a paralyzed man. The local population, whose language Paul and Barnabas do not know, believes it has been visited by the gods Zeus and Hermes in disguise and tries to worship the two evangelists, who barely succeed in restraining the people.
Paul and Barnabas travel to Lystra, an inland city in Asia Minor. They do not know the local language, nor do the local inhabitants speak Greek. But, as PeterThe disciple who denied Jesus during his trial but later became a leader in proclaiming Jesus More and John did before them (3:1-10), in a public place they heal a man crippled from birth. The crowds, wisely from their religious point of view, believe that they have been visited by the gods in disguise and proceed to treat Paul and Barnabas accordingly–with a sacrificeSacrifice is commonly understood as the practice of offering or giving up something as a sign of worship, commitment, or obedience. In the Old Testament grain, wine, or animals are used as sacrifice. In some New Testament writings Jesus' death on the cross as the... More offered to them. Paul and Barnabas barely stop them from engaging in this blasphemyBlasphemy is disrespecting or dishonoring of something held sacred. To use the name of God in swearing or to commit a profane act is to commit blasphemy. More, but finally the evangelists succeed. The cry of Paul and Barnabas, “We are mortals just like you,” is almost the reverse of the cry Herod had accepted in 12:22, “the voice of a god, and not of a mortal!” We see the wisdomWisdom encompasses the qualities of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, which sometimes invokes a Woman as the personification of Wisdom, is a collection of aphorisms and moral teachings. Along with other biblical passages, it teaches, "The fear of the... More and piety of Christians compared with both Herod’s pride and the ignorance of the Lystrans. Again readers are reminded that it is not the Christians who create public uproar, but first the locals and then a group of traveling Jews who incite a riot in which Paul is nearly killed.