A Glimpse of Home


It is interesting to note that people who deify human leaders often turn on them when those leaders do not submit and fit into the mold they have in mind for them. This is what happened as the crowd, which had just tried to make Paul and Barnabas gods, turned against them (vv. 19-20). They dragged Paul out of the city, stoned him, and left him for dead. The outstanding feature of this story is the sheer courage of Paul. When he came to his senses, his first act was to go right back into the city where he had been stoned. There could be no braver thing than Paul’s going straight back among those who had tried to murder him. A deed like that would have more effect than a hundred sermons. Being a disciple of Christ calls for total commitment. 

Was Paul dead? We are not told. At least he was unconscious and apparently gave every evidence of being dead. Some Bible scholars suggest that this was the experience Paul described in II Corinthians 12:1-4, that he actually went to heaven during this period of time. We read that because of the prayers of his friends, his recovery was rapid, and the next day Paul was back at work. They went onto Derbe, preaching the gospel there (vv. 20-21), and then retraced their steps back through Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, visiting the new churches they had established (v. 21). They encouraged the people to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships before entering the Kingdom of God (v. 22). They not only edified the believers, but organized them, as they appointed elders for each church (v. 23). They traveled through Pisidia and Pamphylia, stopping to preach in Perga, before setting off from Attalia to sail back to their sending church in Antioch (vv. 24-26). 

Thus ended the first missionary journey of the apostle Paul. Paul and Barnabas had traveled more than 700 miles by land, and over 500 miles by sea, preaching the gospel to everyone who would listen. They reported all that God had done with their church (vv. 27-28). They had been gone over a year. It must have been exciting for their church when they finally arrived back home.


How can I encourage the missionaries supported by my church? I want to be a blessing for the missionaries I meet and hold them up in prayer when they are away on the mission field. 

Acts 14:19-28 (English Standard Version)

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