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Bible Commentaries
Acts 14

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

WITNESSING IN ICONIUM, V. 1-5

1) "And it came to pass in lconium," (egeneto de en lconio) "Now it occurred (or happened) in Iconium," a place suited for missionary activity, Acts 14:6; Acts 16:2.

2) "That they went both together," (kata to auto eiselthein autous) "That they (Paul and Barnabas) entered together," side by side, as witnesses to Jesus Christ, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses their testimony might be established, much as Jesus sent witnesses "two by two," "into every city and place," where He purposed to follow, Acts 1:8; Luke 10:1; Mark 6:7.

3) "Into the synagogues of the Jews," (eis ten sunagogen ton loudaion) "Into the synagogue of the Jews," there in lconium, as they had done at other places, to read the scriptures, hear them read, and have an open forum opportunity of a captive crowd where they could preach to the masses, Acts 13:5; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:42; Acts 13:44.

4) "And so spake," (kai lalesai houtos) "And proceeded to so speak," as they had done at Antioch in Pisidia, Acts 13:14. They spoke of such things and with such conviction regarding Jesus Christ as they had declared in every place, Acts 1:8.

5) "That a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed," (hoste pisteusai loudaion te kai Hellenon polu plethos) "To the effect that, (so that) a great (large) multitude both of Jews and of Greeks were caused to believe," or trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The Greeks were perhaps proselytes to the Jewish faith, since they were in the synagogue of the Jews. Wherever the gospel is faithfully, fervently preached it bears fruit, Acts 17:30-34; Psalms 126:6; Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 1:15-16.

Verse 2

1 ) "But the unbelieving Jews," (hoi de apeithesantes loudaioi) "Then the unpersuaded, obstinate, disobedient, or unbelieving Jews," of the synagogue and city of lconium.

2) "Stirred up the Gentiles and made their minds evil affected," (epegeiran kai ekakosan tas psuchas ton ethnon) "Excited, incited, or embittered the minds, or emotions of the Gentiles or the other races of people; “There are no neutral unbelievers, none lives neutral, without influence for good or bad. This was expressed by our Lord, "He that is not with me is against me," etc. Matthew 12:30. And Paul certified that none "lived or died to himself" alone, without influencing others, Romans 14:7.

3) "Against the brethren," (kata ton adelphon) "Against the brethren," Paul and Barnabas, and perhaps the brethren of the local church or congregation of disciples, Acts 13:51-52; Acts 14:1. Our Lord forewarned His disciples of the attitude that the unsaved world would take toward them because they were enemies to Him and His word, Matthew 5:11-12; John 15:20-25; John 16:1-4.

Verse 3

1) "Long time therefore," (hikanon men oun chronon) "Then for a considerable period of time," of running timer for several sabbath days.

2) "Abode they speaking boldly in the Lord," (dietripsan parresiazomenoi epi to kurio) "They stayed on and continued in Iconium speaking boldly in the Lord," or relying on the Lord as they preached His word, expounded the scriptures as they testified of Jesus Christ, John 5:39. Tho stoned in Lystra, their previous mission stop, they boldly kept on, without falling out or quitting, Galatians 6:9; Acts 4:13; Acts 4:29; Acts 4:31.

3) "Which gave testimony unto the word of His grace," (to marturounti epi to logo tes chritos autou) "Continually witnessing to the word of His grace," or The Lord who gave testimony," thru them to the word of His grace, Heb 4:12. O for holy, persevering boldness in witnessing among God’s people, in spite of adversaries. Ephesus had a "great open door - - - and many adversaries," for Paul later, yet he entered that door without drawing back, 1 Corinthians 16:8-9; Isaiah 55:10-11.

4) "And granted signs and wonders," (didonti semeia kai terata) "And gave (doled out) signs and wonders," physical, visible, miraculous demonstrations of God’s approval of them as His emissaries, witnesses, or ambassadors, John 3:1-2; Mark 2:10-12. These powers were granted to the apostles and early church members, for a restricted purpose and limited time, which was until the New Testament was completed; See Commentary 1Co chapter 12-15 by author.

5) "To be done by their hands," (ginesthai dia ton cheiron auton) "To come to occur through their hands," the hands of Paul and Barnabas, to confirm their supernaturally directed ministry, Hebrews 2:3-4.

Verse 4

1 ) "But the multitude of the city was divided," (eschithe de to plethos tes poleos) "Then the multitude of the city was divided," regarding the testimony of Paul and Barnabas. Not only did the synagogue visitors hear of Jesus Christ during Paul and Barnabas’ extended witnessing, but also the word went out from the synagogue thru the attendants, week after week, so that the city people were divided, or a sharp division arose among them, Matthew 12:30.

2) "And part held with the Jews,"(kai hoi men esan sun tois loudaiois) "And some were in colleague with the Jews," that a Messiah was to come, but refused to accept the witness that Jesus had come and was that Messiah, Saviour, or deliverer, John 1:11-12; John 5:39-40; John 8:24.

3) "And part with the apostles," (hoi de sun tois apostolois) "And some were in colleague or affinity with the apostles," Paul and Barnabas, as they witnessed that Jesus had come, saved them, called them, commissioned them to witness of Him, Acts 9:5-7; Acts 1 O:43; 11:38,39; Ephesians 2:18-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11.

Verse 5

1) "And when there was an assault," (hos de egeneto horme) "And when there was a rush," in nature of an assault, an expression of emotional arousement, by those who were enemies of the cross of Christ, against the apostles and brethren of the city, justifying Paul’s later assertion to Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:12.

2) "Made both of the Gentile, and also of the Jews," (ton ethon te kai loudaion) "Of both the Gentiles (mixed races) and the Jews;" Tho the Jews considered the Gentiles to be unclean, unfit for association, close social contact, they joined hand in hand to persecute both Jesus Christ and His church, Matthew 22:15-16; Mark 3:6; Mark 12:13.

3) "With their rulers," (sun tois archousan auton) "In collusion with their rulers," of the city of lconium, much as the enemies of Christ, Jews and Gentiles, sought by collusion to entrap Him, Luke 20:19-20; Luke 23:12-13. Rulers, political administrators joined hands with unbelieving, wicked religious Jews both to persecute our Lord and His church, Matthew 5:11-12; Acts 3:17; Acts 4:26; Acts 13:15; Acts 13:27; Ephesians 6:12.

4) "To use them despitefully, and to stone them," (hubrisai kai lithobolesai autous) "To insult and to stone them," with wicked violence, insolently, contemptibly, as our Lord foretold His chosen church should confront them, John 15:16; John 15:20-27; John 16:1-4; Matthew 5:11-12. Yet people of God are to pray for those who treat them despitefully, even as their Lord, Stephen, and Paul did, Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; Romans 10:1-4.

Verse 6

WITNESSING IN DERBE AND LYSTRA V. 6-19

1) "They were ware of it," (sunidontes) "They were perceiving or comprehending what was happening," in colleague, unison, together as one they (Paul and Barnabas) missionaries sent out last by the Antioch church in Syria, Acts 13:1-4; Matthew 10:16-17; Matthew 10:22-28.

2) "And fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia," (katephugon eis tas poleis tes Lukanonias Lustran kai Derben) "And they escaped (made their get-away) into the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe. Lystra was a very important city of the territory of Lycaonia, known as Bin-bir-Kilisseh today. They fled from the persecution as advised by the Lord, Matthew 10:23. Derbe was an upland plain of Lycaonia, the location of which is not specifically identified today, Acts 16:1-3.

3)"And unto the region that lieth round about:” (kai ten perichouon) "And unto the neighborhood," of these areas or into the outer areas of the city limits. It was from this area that Timothy was saved and joined Paul in his missionary travels, 2 Timothy 3:10-11.

Verse 7

HEALING OF IMPOTENT AT LYSTRA V. 7-18

1) "And there," (kakei) "And there," in those cities and neighborhoods. It was in this area Timothy learned of the stoning of Paul as well as other persecutions that came to him in that area, Acts 16:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:10-11.

2) "They preached the gospel," (euangelizomenoi esan) "They were continually evangelizing, bearing the gospel message," of their own volition, choice, will, and accord. They pursued their call of gospel preaching, not turning back, merely because of disappointments, ha-rd times, or persecutions, Galatians 6:9; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; 1 Corinthians 9:21-24. For such as look back are "not fit for the (work of) the kingdom of God," Luke 9:62.

Verse 8

1) "And there sat," (kai ekatheto) "And there sat," not even able to stand, or there was set, placed, or located there.

2) "A certain man at Lystra, impotent in the feet," (tis aner adunatos in Lustrois tois posin) "A certain man in Lystra who was impotent (paralyzed) in the feet," so that he could not stand alone, was not ambulatory of able to walk, much as the lame man placed at the gate Beautiful in Jerusalem, Acts 3:9. There Peter and John had healed him.

3) "Being a cripple from his mother’s womb," (cholos ek koilias metros autou) "Existing as a lame or cripple man from his mother’s womb," from the moment he was born, from birth, Acts 3:2; Acts 3:6-7; Acts 3:11; Acts 4:22.

4) "Who never had walked:” (hos oudepote periepatesen) "Who had never waIked at all," even with assistance, all his life, from the time of his birth, an absolute paralytic, much also as the palsied man that Jesus healed, Mark 2:5-11.

Verse 9

1) "The same heard Paul speak:” (houtos ekousen tou Paulou lalountos) "This (lame man) heard Paul speaking," gave heed, rapt attention to him. Like the man at the gate Beautiful or like the palsied man he had likely been placed so that he could hear and appeal to God’s men of the hour, Paul and Barnabas, Acts 3:1-11; Mark 2:4-12.

2) "Who steadfastly beholding him," (hos antenisas auto) "Who gazing at him," looking studiously, discerningly at him, with compassion, such as was manifest by our Lord, Matthew 9:35-38.

3) "And perceiving that he had faith to be healed," (kai idon hoti echei piatin tou sothenai) "And recognizing that he held or possessed faith to be healed," of his paralysis of body and soul, Hebrews 10:39. The implication of the language here used is that this infirm man implicitly believed that Jesus was the redeemer and savior he needed and that these ambassador missionaries of God could also heal him, and he expected and in faith desired that they do so. It was in such situations that God confirmed His word with signs following, Hebrews 2:4.

Paul may have also been speaking of Jesus as the Great Healer, Matthew 9:22; Matthew 9:28-29; Matthew 13:58. For it was by His miraculous works, words of grace, and literal fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies that many were influenced to believe on Him as the Christ, John 3:2; John 20:30-31; Mark 2:11.

Verse 10

1) "Said with a loud voice," (eipen megale phone) "Said with a booming (megaphone-like) voice," so that the multitude could hear; imperatively, by command he spoke to the cripple, impotent man, Acts 14:8.

2) "Stand upright on thy feet," (anastethi epi tous poclas sou prthos) "Stand up on your feet, completely erect," orthodox, as a perfectly well man should, like a soldier receiving orders. Paul spoke with electrical energy as one spirit directed in witnessing and working for Jesus Christ should, in faith, Colossians 3:17. He couldn’t stand up; He never had, but he did, because God spoke and enabled him both to be saved and healed.

3) "And he leaped and walked," (kai helato kai periepatei.) "And he (just) leaped up (from his paralytic state) and walked," began to walk around, without help, in an erect posture, before the multitude, just for the world like the lame man had done down in Judea at the command of Peter and John soon after the church had been empowered by the Holy Spirit, and they had obediently begun their witnessing for Him, Acts 3:2-9.

Verse 11

1) "And when the people saw what Paul had done," (hoti te ochloi edontes ho epoiesen Paulos) "At that instant the crowd perceiving, knowing full well what Paul did," had done to and for the lame, cripple, impotent man, so long, from birth known as an invalid among them.

2) "They lifted up their voices," (eperan ten phonen auto) "They raised their voices," in pitch and volume, as people with sudden emotional excitement, responding with awe and elation at the blessedness that had come to the cripple man, long their needy neighbor.

3) "Saying in the speech of Lycaonia," (legontes Lukaonisti) "Repeatedly asserting in the speech of Lycaonia," in their native language so that they understood each other perfectly; whether it was in a local koine Greek or Syrioc speech is not known but it was the language of their own time and locality so that all understood.

4) "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men” (hoi theiu homoiothentes anthropois karebesan pros humas) "The gods, being, (existing) similar in appearance of men, have come down to us." There was then a current legend widely believed that Jupiter and Mercury had recently visited and wandered thru Phrygia, a neighboring country, and many indicated that these same gods had come to them in Lycaonia thru Paul and Barnabas, because of the miracle that had come to the lame man. Had Paul and Barnabas accepted their applause, praise, and adoration as gods, they themselves would have become false prophets and deceitful workers, wolves in sheep’s clothing. But they did not do so, to wit what follows, Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Verse 12

1) "And they called Barnabas, Jupiter," (akaloun te ton Barnaban Dia) "And they called Barnabas Zeus," or affirmed that they believed he was Jupiter, Roman or Latin name for Gk. god Zeus. It is believed that Barnabas was older than Paul, and of a more imposing personal appearance, 2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Corinthians 10:10.

2) "And Paul, Mercurius," (to de Paulon Hermen) "And (they called) Paul Gk. Hermes," or asserted that they believed that he was Mercury, Latin for Gk. Hermes. Such gods as Mercury and Jupiter were, however, idols and powerless, with nothing noteworthy for praise or association, Psalms 115:3-8.

3) "Because he was the chief speaker," (epeide auton hen ho hegoumenos tou logou) "Since or because he was the leader (one who led out in) of the discourse," the preaching or gospel exhortation and teaching concerning Jesus Christ. The word for "interpret" in the New Testament is the Gk. root word from which Hermes is derived. The people therefore considered Paul to be an interpreter of law and history and testimony regarding Jesus Christ. Paul glorified always, in the cross of Christ, not in self-esteem, Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Verse 13

1) "Then the priest of Jupiter," (ho te hiereus tou dios) "So then the priest of Zeus," the more prominent of the lifeless false gods, deaf, dumb, blind, lifeless god, Psalms 115:3-8.

2) "Which was before their city," (tou ontos pro tes poleos) "Of the one (statue) existing before, or at the entrance to the city;" The temple of Zeus was located just outside this city of Lystra, Acts 14:8.

3) "Brought oxen and garlands unto the gates," (taurous kai semmata epi tous pulonas enegkas) "He brought (was bringing) bulls and garlands to the entrance gates," of the city for purposes of sacrifice and adoration of Paul and Barnabas before this false god. Perhaps Paul and Barnabas did not understand the language of the Lycaonians, or know what was being planned to honor them, else they would have interrupted the matter sooner.

4) "And would have done sacrifice with the people." (sun tois ochlois ethelen thuein) "Which he the high priest of Jupiter wished to sacrifice in a colleague sentiment with the mixed crowds," to or toward Paul and Barnabas.

The oxen on their way to the sacrifice-slaughter were adorned by garlands of flowers. Whether they were on their way to the house where Paul and Barnabas were staying, that they counted as a shrine, or on their way to the gate of the city near where the Jupiter temple was said to be located is not certain. What is certain is that sincere heathens, in consort with their priest, were attempting to worship men of God as "gods," a matter in conflict with the word of God and revealed Christian truth, 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Verse 14

1) "Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of," (akousantes de hoi apostoloi) "Then the apostles, Barnabas and Paul repeatedly hearing such," and realizing the import or consequence of such, Acts 12:21-23; Exodus 20:1-2.

2) "They rent their clothes," (diarreksantes ta himatia heauton) "Began rending their garments," tearing their clothes as a public expression of disapproval and rejection of worship and/or the kind of adoration that was planned for them, Acts 14:13. This was an expression of Jewish abhorrence of what was about to occur.

3) "And ran in among the people, crying out," (eksepedesan eis ton ochlon krazontes) "Rushed out into (among) the crowd, or sprang out among the masses of people, crying out," so as to stop the people, to deter them from making a sacrifice in their honor or as gods unto them. They were resisting the devil in a religious matter, James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9. Even Jesus refused to enter into a bowing session of worship with and to the devil, Matthew 4:9-10.

For Paul and Barnabas to have accepted worship in a service presided over by the priest of heathen worship would have publicly identified them and their worship of Jesus Christ and His church as subservient or secondary to worship of Jupiter, Acts 4:12; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 15

1) "And saying, Sirs," (kai legontes andres) "And repeatedly saying, Sirs," or "ye responsible men," "you adult men," "you men of maturity," said in a chiding, reprimanding, or disapproving manner, as recounted, Revelation 22:8-10.

2) "Why do ye these things?" (ti tauta poieite) "Why do you do these things?" Why do you sacrifice either to men, like we are, or to idol gods, such as Jupiter and Mercurius or Zeus and Hermes? Why offer this idolatrous worship to us? Neither any man or an angel is an object of worship, Revelation 19:10.

3) "We also are men of like passions with you,” (kai hermeis homoiopatheis esmen humin anthropoi) "We also are merely men of the same, similar, or like pathos (emotional nature) to you;" Peter had refused worship by the Gentile household of Cornelius in similar manner, Acts 10:26. God’s greatest men, are but men at their best, and not to be worshipped, James 5:17-18; Revelation 19:10.

4) "And preach unto you," (euangelizomenoi humas) "We preach (are preaching to) you all," of our own will, volition, or accord, even as they were sent, Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

5) "That ye should turn from these vanities," (apo touton mataion epistrephein) "That you ought to turn away from these sacrificial and idol god forms of adoration," vanities, empty forms of worship, as they relate to the one true God, Isaiah 44:8-10; Jeremiah 8:19; Jeremiah 14:22; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Psalms 115:4-8.

6) "Unto the living God," (epi theon Zonta) "And cast yourselves upon a living God," a God of life-giving nature and kind, different from those then being worshipped by them, Genesis 11; Psalms 33:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9.

7) "Which made heaven, and earth, and sea," (hos epoisen ton ouranon kai ten thalassan) "Who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea," the creator, sustainer, and ruler of heaven, earth, and the sea, John 1:1-3; Acts 17:24-31.

8) "And all things that are therein:" (kai panta ta en autois) "And all things that (exist) in them," 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16-19. It was the gospel of this living God that saved many of ThessaIonia, 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. It is this witness of Christ we must preach today, Revelation 22:9-10.

Verse 16

1) "Who in the past suffered all nations," (hos en tais parochemenais geneais eiasen panta ta ethne) "Who in past generations allowed or permitted all the nations or races," in tolerance and longsuffering, under the law administration, before the coming of Jesus Christ, Psalms 81:11-12; Acts 17:30.

2) "To walk in their own ways." (pareuethai tais hodois auton) "To go their own ways," according to their own choice, volition, or desire, with less severe judgement than now, when men have fuller available evidences regarding God, their sins, and Jesus Christ, the Savior, 1 Peter 4:3. Men are today, now, in this age, absolutely without excuse for selfishly and covetously going their own rebellious ways against the light and knowledge they have of the word and will of God for them, Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:11; Hebrews 3:7-8; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 22:17; Hebrews 4:7.

Verse 17

1) "Nevertheless he left not himself without witness," (kaitoi ouk hamarturon auton apheken) "And yet he left not himself unwitnessed, without continual witness;” Romans 1:20; In so many ways He speaks to man today: 1) Thru nature, Psalms 19:1-3; Psalms 2) Thru His word, John 5:39; Hebrews 4:12; Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3)Thru His spirit, Acts 16:7-11; Heb 43; Revelation 22:17; Revelation , 4) Thru His church, Acts 1:8; John 15:16; John 15:27; John 20:21; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 22:17.

2) "In that he did good," (agathourgon) "As he himself continued doing good," to all men and to the universe, giving to all life, breath, and all things; as God bare witness of Jesus in four ways at His first coming, John 5:33-40; Acts 17:28; Acts 10:38.

3)"And gave us rain from heaven," (ouranothen humin huetous didous) "Continually giving (doling out, sending) us rain from heaven above," out of His own compassion, grace, and care for all men, impartially, without respect of person; Psalms 65:9-10; Matthew 5:45.

4) "And fruitful seasons," (kai kaitous katpophouous) "And repeatedly giving us fruitbearing seasons," fruitbearing according to the time-seasons; James 1:16-22; James 4:13-17; Luke 16:3-9; Proverbs 11:30; John 15:1-27; James 5:7.

5) "Filling our hearts with food and gladness." (empiplon tropes kai euphrosunes tas kardias humon) "Repeatedly filling (us) with food and our hearts with gladness," by food -we desire, must have for light to be sustained, God in giving it, fills our emotions (hearts) with gladness. In like manner when the sinner receives Jesus Christ to satisfy the hunger of his heart and longing soul, he finds true joy of the Holy Spirit, John 8:12; 1 John 5:11; 1 John 4:15; Romans 5:5.

EFFECTS OF TURNING TO GOD

"I saw with mine own eyes, when in Africa two or three years ago," says the Re W. Allen, "the notorious skull temple, or Juju house, not long ago the scene of the most ghastly horrors; I saw the very men who had been the high priests of Juju, the ringleaders in all kinds of atrocities; I saw the accursed grove where human victims were constantly slain, and twins cast out to die; but the temple had fallen into ruins, the skulls were crumbling to dust, the idols lay groveling on the ground, the grove was the highway of God’s house, and the once cannibal priests and people were all assembled in church, and joining-with earnest fervor in the worship of Almighty God. And since then, and within the last two years, the tottering temple has been deliberately razed to the ground, the human skulls decently interred, and all the detestable tokens of their former idolatry, some of which had been procured at a tremendous cost and had been regarded as of priceless value, were handed over to Bishop Crowther, forwarded by him to me, and are now in London. In lieu of their former skull temple the natives have erected at their own expense, at a cost of not less than 2,000 francs, a church which seats two thousand people, which is now Bishop Crowther’s cathedral, and at the consecration of which over three thousand natives were present."

Bib. 111.

Verse 18

1) "And with these sayings," (kai tauta kegontes) "And continually, repeatedly saying these things," were Paul and Barnabas. As they rejected, poured contempt upon the gods for whom they were taken, Jupiter and Mercury, whom the people worshipped, while at the same time they extolled, praised the one true living God, creator and sustainer of life.

2) "Scarce restrained they the people," (molis katepausan tous ochlous tou) "They scarcely (barely) restrained the crowds," the masses of people who wanted to worship them. It appears that the miraculous healing of the impotent paralytic so emotionally excited the masses with awe and gratitude that they were sincere, though in grave error, in desiring to worship Paul and Barnabas, rather than Jesus Christ whom they preached, Acts 28:4-6; John 4:24.

3) "That they had not done sacrifice unto them." (me thuein autois) "Not to do sacrifice to them;" It appears that Paul and Barnabas finally broke up, interrupted, or scattered the crowd of emotionally stirred heathen and idolatrous worshippers, just before sacrifices were killed and offered to them as mere men. To receive worship from man or angel is wrong for any man, Acts 12:21-24; Revelation 22:8-10. Nebuchadnezzar set up an image to deify himself, requiring worship toward him or certain death, a matter of human and idol worship, prefiguring that required of the beast and antichrist, but the Hebrew children and Daniel refused to bow to such, receiving from their stand Divine sanction, Daniel 3:1-18; Revelation 13:11-15.

Verse 19

PAUL STONED AT LYSTRA V. 19

1) "And there came thither," (epelthon de) "Then there came of their own accord or will," to Lystra. With two seeming exceptions every persecution against Paul was incited by Jews of his own race who rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ, Acts 13:45; 2 Timothy 3:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:25.

2) "Certain Jews from Antioch and lconium," (apo Antiocheias kai lkonoiu Ioudaioi) "From Antioch and lconium," where they formerly visited, trailing them with malice and maliciousness, which they had harbored in their unregenerate, rebellious souls, Acts 13:14-15; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:1-5. This type of self-appointed "truth-squad" of Christ rejecting Jews persecuted Paul, hounded him in Judea, Asia Minor, and Europe, wherever he went, even as they did Jesus thru His ministry, Matthew 5:11-12; John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12.

3) "Who persuaded the people," (kai peisantes tous ochlous) "And persuading the assembled crowds," with pious hypocrisy and deceit, much as the chief priests and rulers of Israel incited mobs against Jesus Christ, Luke 23:10-12; Luke 23:16-24. It is not difficult to persuade a people whose false worship has been rejected, rebuffed, and the Jews knew it.

4) "And having stoned Paul," (kai lithasantes ton Paulon) "And repeatedly stoning Paul," and inciting others of the crowd to dothe same, much as Paul held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen for his testimony of Jesus Christ. It is an easy step from blind worship to rabid persecution.

5) "Drew him out of the city," (esuron ekso tes poleos) "They dragged (him) outside of the city;" The "they" who did this was the hateful rabble-rousing, crowd inciting, Christ rejecting Jews, even as their kind had killed, slain Jesus, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.

6) "Supposing he had been dead." (nomizontes auton tethnekenai) "Thinking (supposing) him to have died," to be dead as they dragged him thru the streets, outside the city of Lystra. It appears that Paul was stoned to an unconscious state, led by the Jews, joined by the heathen worshippers and Priest of Mercury and Jupiter whose worship Paul and Barnabas had rejected, then dragged him inhumanely thru the streets outside the city, where he later revived.

Verse 20

FURTHER WITNESSING AND CONFIRMATION V. 20-22

1) "Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him," (kuklosanton de ton matheton auton) "Then as the disciples surrounded him, stood all around him," as it was feared that he was dead or dying from the stoning, after having been dragged out of the city; note there were some faithful disciples who unrecanting followed him outside the city, perhaps to bury him, but God intervened, 2 Timothy 3:11; 2 Corinthians 11:25.

2) "He rose up and came into the city:” (anastas eiselthen eis ten polin) "Rising up, from the prone position on the ground, he entered into (went back into) the city," perhaps led and accompanied by the band of disciples, the church of Lystra, where Timothy, Paul’s son in the ministry, lived, where he joined Paul for a life of mission service on Paul’s next visit to Lystra, Acts 16:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:1.

3) "And the next day," (kai te epaurion) "And on the day following," the next day after his stoning and return into the city for the night where he may have been cared for in the home of Timothy’s family, 2 Timothy 1:4-9; 2 Timothy 3:14-15.

4) "He departed with Barnabas to Derbe," (ekselthen sun to Barnaba eis Derben) "He went forth, by his own choice, in colleague with Barnabas into Derbe;" Barnabas had escaped or avoided the stoning that was directed at Paul, but he joined him the next day to journey into the city of Derbe, in the region of Lycaonia, Acts 14:6, where they were well received, taught the word and made many disciples, Acts 14:21.

Verse 21

1) "And when they had preached the gospel to that city," (euangelizomenoi te ten polin ekeinen) "And having evangelized that city (the city of Derbe)," Acts 14:20; Acts 15:7. Gaius, called a Derbian, may be one of the disciples made there at that time, Acts 20:4; perhaps also mentioned, Romans 16:23; 3 John 1:1-14.

2) "And had taught many," (kai matheteusantes hikanous) "And when they had made (taught) many disciples," or made many disciples there, in obedience to the command of their Lord, thru the church and great commission, Matthew 28:19-20: John 20:21; Acts 1:8. This is evidence that the gospel was not preached in vain, Psalms 126:5-6; Isaiah 55:10-11.

3) "They returned again," (hupestrepsan) "They returned," or turned again, the second time. In spite of the opposition, persecution, and even stoning of Paul, he and Barnabas returned to Lystra to give courage to the disciples and the church in that place, Acts 14:1-2; Acts 14:5-7; Acts 14:19.

4) "To Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch." (eis ten Lustran kai eis Ikonion kis (eis) Antiocheian) "Into the three (cities) of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch," where they had already preached the gospel.

Verse 22

1) "Confirming the souls of the disciples," (episterizontes tas psuchas ton mitheton) "Confirming (strengthening) the souls (minds and emotions) of the disciples," of the churches they visited. They gave them courage in the Lord, and established them in the faith, the system of teachings or doctrines of Jesus Christ and His church, Acts 11:23; Acts 13:43; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

2) "And exhorting them to continue in the faith," (parakalountes emmenein te pistei) "Exhorting (encouraging, admonishing, or appealing to them) to continue (keep on keeping on) in the faith," in the system of teaching and practice, "once delivered to the saints," or to the church, by their Lord, Judges 1:1-3; Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Ephesians 3:21; 1 Timothy 3:15.

3) "And that we must thru much tribulation," (kai hoti dia pollon thlipseon de hemas) "And that it becomes (behooves) us through many tribulations in the flesh, to which all the saved in general, and the committed to service especially, are heirs, Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 3:12.

4) "Enter into the kingdom of God." (eiselthein eis ten basileian tou theou) "To voluntarily (of one’s own accord) enter into the kingdom of God," into the witness and work of the kingdom of God, spiritual service rendered thru His church, which He purchased with His own blood, Acts 20:28; Our Lord forewarned His church disciples of the cost of doing His work, in His way, that being forewarned they might be forearmed. First in the sermon on the Mount, the inaugural address to the church, Matthew 5:11-12; Second before He went away, John 15:16; John 15:20; John 15:27; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Ephesians 6:10-18.

Verse 23

APPOINTMENT OF ELDERS IN EVERY CHURCH V. 23-25

1 ) "And when they had ordained them,’’ (cheirotonesantes de autois) "And when they had appointed or ordained them," for the congregations or churches of the cities of Antioch, Lystra, and Derbe, Acts 14:21; Titus 1:5-6. The Gk. term used for ordained is (cheirotonesantes) and means "to stretch forth the hand;” Thus the "laying on of hands," concluding ordination is a visible expression of trust committed in the ordained, by the ordaining church, Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 8:19.

2) "Elders in every church," (kat’ ekkiesian presbuterous) "Elders, according to their local needs, in every church, every orderly congregation of disciples," in Lystra, lconium, and Derbe. Note, no office of elders existed in or is known in the New Testament church, but there appears to have been a plurality of elders, mature, morally, ethically, doctrinally sound brethren set apart as teachers and leaders in every New Testament church, from among which the church then selected pastors and deacons for offices of church administration, 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 5:17.

3) "And had prayed with fasting," (proseuksamenoi meta nesteion) "Praying with periods of fasting," See a similar report, Acts 6:3. It appears that all election, ordination, or appointments of elders, deacons, and bishops, and pastors of New Testament churches was by a voice or vote of the "church ye" to whom the great commission was mandated, as an institution, not just to preachers, Matthew 28:18-20.

4) "They commended them to the Lord," (parethento autous to kurio) "They committed them to the Lord," to His special guidance and care, prayed for their health and spiritual prosperity, Acts 13:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:20; Philippians 4:23.

5) "On whom they believed." (eis hon pepisteukeisan) "Into or on whom they had believed," Let it be noted that all deacons and pastor are elders, but all elders are not deacons or pastors – The kind of elders (Gk. presbyteros) qualified to be deacons (Gk. diakainoi) and bishops (Gk. episcopia) or overseers are near identical in qualifications, but all elders are no more deacons or bishops than all men are fathers, or all women are mothers.

Verse 24

1 ) "And after they had passed throughout Pisidia," (kai diethontes ten Pisidian) "And passing or traveling through the area of Pisidia," a region of Asia Minor north of Pamphylia, east of the Mediterranean Sea, some fifty miles inland from Perga and Attalia. Pisidia was a rough terrain, a mountain region known as Tarsus, where desperate bandits often way-laid traveling merchants near Antioch in Pisidia, Acts 13:14; 2 Corinthians 11:26.

2) "They came to Pamphylia." (elthon eis ten Pamphulian) "They came into Pamphylia," a Mediterranean seacoast territory of some one hundred miles in length, lying on the Asia Minor coast line about one hundred and fifty miles northeast of the Island of Cyprus, Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38. From this country Mark had left Paul and Barnabas on this their first missionary journey, refusing to go to the cities and rugged terrain and territorial people inland.

Verse 25

1) "And when they had preached the word of God in Perga," (kai lalesantes eis ten Pargen ton logon) "And having repeatedly preached or spoken the word in Perga," the first inland city of Asia Minor, they visited on this their first missionary tour, the particular city from which John Mark had earlier departed from them, Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38; Galatians 6:9; Mark had not, at this point in life become persevering, abounding in the work of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:58.

2) "They went down into Attalia:" (katebesan eis Attaleian) "They came down into Attalia," across the plain about sixteen miles toward the Mediterranean coast from Perga which was inland, The seaport is now called Satalia.

Verse 26

RETURN AND REPORT TO ANTIOCH CHURCH IN SYRIA V. 26-28

1) "And thence sailed away to Antioch," (kakeithen apepleusan eis Antiocheian) "And from there they sailed away into Antioch," Antioch of Syria- -some three hundred miles south of Antioch of Pisidia; It was there in Syria that they had labored long and taught together in the church preparatory to their long missionary journey together into Cyprus and Asia Minor, Acts 11:22; Acts 11:26-30; Acts 12:24-25.

2) "From whence they had been recommended," (othen esan paradedomenoi) "From which place and church they had been set forth (sent forth), commended," or recommended of the Antioch church brethren, Acts 13:1-3. This example of church sent (Holy Spirit empowered) missionaries, has become a challenge to all true churches for emulation and obedience to our Lord’s mandate, magna carta to His new covenant house or church in doing mission work thru the ages, Matthew 28:19-20; John 15:16; John 15:27; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Hebrews 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:15; Mark 13:34-35.

3) "To the grace of God," (te chariti tou theou) "To the Grace of God," to the care of God’s grace, while witnessing in regions beyond, beyond Antioch, in Asia Minor, going and growing in, while bearing and sharing His grace and grace message to others, 2 Peter 3:18; Titus 2:11-15; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; John 4:34-39; Ephesians 2:8-10. The purpose of grace is fulfilled in no child of God until he lives a changed life and shares that grace with others, James 1:22.

4) "For the work which they fulfilled," (eis te ergon ho epitosan) "With references to the work (mission work) which they accomplished;" They fulfilled their mission task, didn’t fall by the wayside, quit, or turn back because of difficulties, Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Luke 9:62. God grant faithfulness to each of His children that they may finish the work He has called and given them to do, faithful unto and until death, as Jesus and Paul, John 17:4; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10.

Verse 27

1) "And when they were come," (pargenomenoi de) "Then when they had arrived," had landed at Selucia and gone inland to Antioch on their return, as when they sailed upon leaving Syria on their outward journey, Acts 13:4.

2) "And had gathered the church together," (kai sunagagontes ten ekklesian) "And assembled (gathered, rounded up) the church," for a report on their mission journey, showing deep respect for authority and support of the sending or commending church, Acts 13:1-4; Hebrews 10:24-25. Let it always be recognized that it was the church ye" not the "preacher ye," or "board ye," or convention ye," to whom the Lord gave the mission-bearing mandate, Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-51; John 15:16; John 15:27; John 20:21; Acts 1:8.

3) "They rehearsed all that God had done with them," (anengellon hosa epoiesen ho theos met’ auton) "They reported (narrated), gave a detailed or extended account (of) what things God did with them;" For it is "God that worketh in you" that really counts in life, 1 Corinthians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. They especially emphasized how God had opened the door of acceptance to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46-49; Acts 10:1-48; Acts 14:1; Acts 14:18.

4) "And how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles," (kai hoti enoiksen tois ethnesin thuran pisteos) "And that He had opened a door of faith to the heathen, races, other nations, or Gentiles;" He who was the keys of David can open doors that preachers or laymen can not open, by the power of His Spirit and wisdom. Four doors are: 1) The mouth of the witness, preachers or laymen, Acts 1:8; Acts 2) The ear of the hearer, Luke 14:35; Romans 10:17; Romans 3) The heart of the hearer, Acts 16:14; Acts , 4) The door to heaven, John 8:24; Revelation 21:27; Luke 10:20; 2 Corinthians 5:11; John 14:1-3.

God opens doors; Thank God and enter them, be they for salvation, worship or service, John 1:11-12; John 7:17; John 6:37; Mark 8:34-36; Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; At Ephesus and Troas God opened doors to Paul. He recognized and entered them. Do we today?

THE OPEN DOOR OF SALVATION

Says Dr. Parkhurst: "Light is a sure guide, because, unlike sound, it goes in straight lines. If you were to strike the tired, diminished end of a sunbeam a million million miles from the sun, you are on the certain track of the sun the instant you begin treading upwards the glittering highway that the sunbeam spreads out for you. And wherever and however far out upon the circumference of Christ’s character you take your position and begin threading inward any of the radiating lines, you move by a line as straight as a sunbeam towards the heart and center of the entire matter. One radius is as good as another for finding the center. Each of the twelve gates thresholded a main avenue of the heavenly Jerusalem." The gate of heaven is not away up yonder; it is wherever we look to Christ as the Opener of heaven to the penitent and believing soul. He said, "I am the door; by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved." The gospel, wherever we study it as earnest seekers after the truth, presents to us one of the pearly gates of paradise.

Verse 28

1) "And there they abode long time," (dietribon de chronon ouk holigon) "Then they continued (stayed on) there no little time," or for an extended time, though the length of time is not certain, but perhaps about three years, until after the Jerusalem council recounted Acts 15:1-41.

2) "With the disciples." (sun tois matheais) "In close colleague or fellowship with the disciples, saints, or church," at Antioch where they had formerly taught for more than a year, and from which they had been sent forth on their interior Asia Minor mission journey, Acts 13:1-3.

As the first missionary journey of Paul is concluded it appears that a time review of his mission and educational work is proper:

1. About A.D. 44 he and Barnabas visited Jerusalem, on behalf of the Antioch church of Syria to carry relief aid, Acts 11:27-30; When they returned from Jerusalem to Antioch in Syria they had with them John Mark, Acts 12:24-25.

2. Their first missionary journey was made A.D. 45, 46, as recounted Acts 13:1 to Acts 14:28.

3. Paul appears to have remained in Antioch of Syria for about three years, until after the Jerusalem council, before starting his second major missionary journey, about A.D. 50 or 52, Acts 15:30-41.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 14". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-14.html. 1985.
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