After Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their sandals at the Pisidian Antioch, following persecution from Jewish leaders, they continued their missionary journey about fifty miles east to Iconium, a city in the Roman province of Lycaonia.
“1 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.” (Acts 14:1)
In the Roman city, just as they did on the island of Cyprus and at Antioch, Paul and Barnabas used the Jewish synagogue as a platform from which to preach the gospel of the risen Christ. It was a common gathering place for God fearing people, both Jews and Gentiles alike. It would be at the synagogue that the church of Iconium would find its root.
“2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.” (Acts 14:2)
Just as at Antioch, the missionaries faced persecution from those who rejected the gospel as the truth about the resurrected Christ threatened their beliefs, their way of life and in a lot of cases, their livelihood. Because this was a Roman city, under the ruling of Gentiles, the Jews had no other recourse but to spew venom and spread lies about Paul and Barnabas in hope their message would be diluted.
“3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.” (Acts 14:3-4)
In spite of persecution by Jewish and Gentile leaders, God’s missionaries stayed in Iconium many months during which they continued to preach the gospel and spread the truth about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. During this time, the Lord used Paul and Barnabas in divine ways, for His glory and for the benefit of those who were saved by their faith.
“5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. 7 And they were preaching the gospel there.” (Acts 14:5-7)
During their stay in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas stirred much controversy among Jewish leaders who in turn called on the city’s Gentile leadership to punish the missionaries by stoning them to death.
When they heard of the uprising, both preachers left the city and sought refuge in adjacent cities where they continued their divinely appointed journey. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre