Paul in Lystra and Derbe
In Lystra there sat a man who had been born crippled; he had never walked.
This man was listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him.
So he cried out, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around.
When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have become like men! They have come down to us!”
And the people began to call Barnabas “Zeus.” They called Paul “Hermes,” because he was the main speaker.
The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas.
But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what they were about to do, they tore their clothes in anger. Then they ran in among the people and shouted,
“Men, why are you doing these things? We are only men, human beings like you! We are bringing you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the true living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.
In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted.
Yet he did things to prove he is real: He shows kindness to you. He gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times. He gives you food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them.