“However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.”
Unbelieving Jews who had wanted to stone Paul back in Iconium caught up with him in Lystra, stoned him, and left him for dead. Today’s verse reveals that he did not die, and that he had the boldness to walk back in the very city with the same inhabitants who just tried to kill him. We marvel at displays of boldness in the Bible and think that we could never exhibit such a display ourselves.
Paul had already experienced the threat of death in Iconium, and if it were me I cannot honestly say that I would continue on in his missions journey. Similarly, would I have without hesitation chosen the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar like Daniel’s colleagues (Daniel 3)? What is it that these saints had? For one thing, we know that they did the “prep” work. When Daniel and his friends were to be fed of the king’s delicacies, they immediately purposed in their heart to not defile themselves with the diet of the land: They knew immediately they would be violating a precept of God; they knew God’s word. Paul had asked for prayer that he be bold: He was a man of prayer. Most likely we will not face the same situations as Daniel and Paul, but we will indeed face adversity as we walk with God. Like them, we can be ready for those situations if we build our walks with God on a foundation of God’s word and prayer.
Pastor Jeff Mericle