Discuss the events that took place in Iconium and Lystra during the first missionary journey, explaining the attitude of the Jews in both places


Paul and
Barnabas were forced to move to Iconium from Antioch of Pisidia because of the
Jewish persecution. In Iconium, they preached to the people in the synagogue and
there were many converts. Despite the many converts they made, the Jewish persecutors descended hard on them and they were
forced to leave for Lystra where they continued their preaching.

In Lystra, they met a man
who had been a cripple from birth. When they saw that he had faith, Paul made
him well. He started to walk for
the rest of his life. The crowd was astonished at the miracle performed by Paul
and Barnabas. They decided to make sacrifices to them believing that they
were gods incarnate.
The apostles prevented them from carrying out their plan as it
would amount to committing sin. The apostles tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd, convincing them that they were
not gods but men like them and that they needed no sacrifices. They told them that what they were doing was
just to spread the good news concerning Jesus Christ which would turn them away from their ignorance of the
worship of God.

Still in Lystra, Paul drew the attention of the people to the
freedom that God allowed them in the past. He told them how God sent His son
(Jesus) to the world to bring salvation to the whole world. However, Paul could
not prevent the people from offering the sacrifices to them. At this point, the
Jewish persecutors came and stirred the people against them. Paul was stoned
and dragged out of the city. They thought he was dead. The new converts in
Lystra gathered around him; when he had recovered, they secretly led him back
into the city.
The attitudes of the Jews, both in Iconium and Lystra could be
said to be as follows: 

  1. From Iconium and Lystra, the two cities that the
    apostles visited, the Jewish persecutors did not allow them to carry out their
    preaching as expected. The persecutors were after their lives. They stirred
    people against them, beat them, sent them away and prevented the people from
    hearing the word of God. 
  2. In Lystra, Paul was stoned to a state of
    coma. This shows the extent of opposition the apostles received, thereby
    preventing them from carrying out their preaching successfully.

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