Preaching in Lystra

When Paul and Barnabas heal a crippled man at Lystra while proclaiming the Gospel there, the miracle at first seems to backfire. By preaching in Lystra, they intended to turn the locals away from idolatry to the true worship of the one God who made the heavens and the earth—the true worship that is now open to all people, not only the Jews. Instead, the locals identify the apostles as characters from their own pantheon. They quickly bring oxen and garlands to offer sacrifice to the apostles. The miraculous healing has quickly become an occasion for false rather than true worship. The momentary failure to reorient the religious perceptions of the locals evokes imaginable exasperation. Paul and Barnabas begin tearing their garments. They’ve missed the point! The apostles’ religious critique is lost on the locals, and they have not reoriented their religious impulses at all. Instead of revising their…
Source: Word on Fire Blog

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