Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Acts 14

DUJARDIN Karel St Paul Healing the Cripple at Lystra.jpg
DUJARDIN Karel St Paul Healing the Cripple at Lystra

Acts 14 chronicles:

  • the missinaries being driven out of Iconium (v1-6);
  • the healing of a lame man at Lystra, resulting in attempts to worship them as gods(v7-17);
  • Paul is once again stoned and left for dead, so they leave after appointing presbyters for Lystra (v18-22);
  • their further voyages and return to Antioch (v23-27).

Acts 14:
1 While they were at Iconium, they went into the Jewish synagogue together, and preached in such a way that a great number both of Jews and of Greeks found faith, 2 although the Jews who would not believe stirred up trouble among the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 For a long time, then, they remained there, speaking boldly in the Lord’s name, while he attested the preaching of his grace by allowing signs and wonders to be performed by their means; 4 the common folk of the city were divided in opinion, some taking part with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 Then, when both Gentiles and Jews, in concert with their rulers, made a movement to assault and stone them, 6 they thought it best to take refuge in the Lycaonian cities, Lystra and Derbe, and the country round them; and they preached the gospel there.
Chrysostom (Homily 30): No small matter this dividing. And this was what the Lord said, I am not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34..Again, as if they purposely wished to extend the preaching after it was increased, they once more sent them out. See on all occasions the persecutions working great good, and defeating the persecutors, and making the persecuted illustrious...
7 There was a lame man sitting at Lystra, crippled from birth, so that he had never walked, 8 who listened to Paul’s preaching; and Paul, looking closely at him, and seeing that there was saving faith in him, 9 said aloud, Stand upright on thy feet; whereupon he sprang up, and began to walk.10 The multitudes, seeing what Paul had done, cried out in the Lycaonian dialect, It is the gods, who have come down to us in human shape. 11 They called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury, because he was the chief speaker; 12 and the priest of Jupiter, Defender of the City, brought out bulls and wreaths to the gates, eager, like the multitude, to do sacrifice.13 The apostles tore their garments when they heard of it; and both Barnabas and Paul ran out among the multitude, crying aloud: 14 Sirs, why are you doing all this? We too are mortal men like yourselves; the whole burden of our preaching is that you must turn away from follies like this to the worship of the living God, who made sky and earth and sea and all that is in them. 15 In the ages that are past, he has allowed Gentile folk everywhere to follow their own devices; 16 yet even so he has not left us without some proof of what he is; it is his bounty that grants us rain from heaven, and the seasons which give birth to our crops, so that we have nourishment and comfort to our heart’s desire. 17 With words like this they persuaded the people, not easily, to refrain from offering sacrifice to them.
 7 Et quidam vir Lystris infirmus pedibus sedebat, claudus ex utero matris suæ, qui numquam ambulaverat. 8 Hic audivit Paulum loquentem. Qui intuitus eum, et videns quia fidem haberet ut salvus fieret, 9 dixit magna voce: Surge super pedes tuos rectus. Et exilivit, et ambulabat. 10 Turbæ autem cum vidissent quod fecerat Paulus, levaverunt vocem suam lycaonice, dicentes: Dii similes facti hominibus descenderunt ad nos. 11 Et vocabant Barnabam Jovem, Paulum vero Mercurium: quoniam ipse erat dux verbi. 12 Sacerdos quoque Jovis, qui erat ante civitatem, tauros et coronas ante januas afferens, cum populis volebat sacrificare.13 Quod ubi audierunt Apostoli, Barnabas et Paulus, conscissis tunicis suis exilierunt in turbas, clamantes 14 et dicentes: Viri, quid hæc facitis? et nos mortales sumus, similes vobis homines, annuntiantes vobis ab his vanis converti ad Deum vivum, qui fecit cælum, et terram, et mare, et omnia quæ in eis sunt: 15 qui in præteritis generationibus dimisit omnes gentes ingredi vias suas. 16 Et quidem non sine testimonio semetipsum reliquit benefaciens de cælo, dans pluvias et tempora fructifera, implens cibo et lætitia corda nostra. 17 Et hæc dicentes, vix sedaverunt turbas ne sibi immolarent.
Chrysostom: Let us imitate them: let us think nothing our own, seeing even faith itself is not our own, but more God's (than ours). For by grace are you saved through faith; and this, says he, not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 Then let us not think great things of ourselves, nor be puffed up, being as we are, men, dust and ashes, smoke and shadow.

For say, Why do you think great things of yourself? Have you given alms, and lavished your substance? And what of that? Think, what if God had chosen not to make you rich? Think of them that are impoverished, or rather, think how many have given (not their substance only, but) their bodies moreover, and after their numberless sacrifices, have felt still that they were miserable creatures!

You gave for yourself, Christ (not for Himself, but) for you: you did but pay a debt, Christ owed you not.— See the uncertainty of the future, and be not high-minded, but fear Romans 11:20; do not lessen your virtue by boastfulness. Would you do something truly great? Never let a surmise of your attainments as great enter your mind...

Have you utterance and grace of teaching? Do not for this account yourself to have anything more than other men. For this cause especially you ought to be humbled, because you have been vouchsafed more abundant gifts. For he to whom more was forgiven, will love more Luke 7:47: if so, then ought thou to be humbled also, for that God having passed by others, took notice of you. Fear thou because of this: for often this is a cause of destruction to you, if you be not watchful.

Why do you think great things of yourself? Because you teach by words? But this is easy, to philosophize in words: teach me by your life: that is the best teaching. Do you say that it is right to be moderate, and do you make a long speech about this thing, and play the orator, pouring forth your eloquence without a check? But better than thou is he shall one say to you, who teaches me this by his deeds— for not so much are those lessons wont to be fixed in the mind which consist in words, as those which teach by things: since if you have not the deed, thou not only hast not profited him by your words, but hast even hurt him the more— better thou were silent...
18 But some of the Jews from Antioch and Iconium had followed them; these won over the multitude to their side, and they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, leaving him there for dead. 19 But the disciples formed a ring about him, and soon he rose up and went back into the city; next day he left, with Barnabas, for Derbe. 20 In that city too they preached, and made many disciples; then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 21 where they fortified the spirits of the disciples, encouraging them to be true to the faith, and telling them that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without many trials. 22 Then, with fasting and prayer, they appointed presbyters for them in each of the churches, and commended them to the care of the Lord in whom they had learned to believe. 23 So they passed through Pisidia, and reached Pamphylia. 24 They preached the word of the Lord in Perge, and went down to Attalia, 25 taking ship there for Antioch, where they had been committed to God’s grace for the work they had now achieved. 26 On their arrival, they called the Church together, and told the story of all God had done to aid them, and how, through faith, he had left a door open for the Gentiles. 27 And they stayed there a considerable time with the disciples.

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