Paul and Barnabas continued on their missionary journey. God bore witness to His grace by “enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” When they went to Lystra, Paul prayed for healing of a man who was lame from birth. He was healed, “jumping up and walking.” The crowds were convinced that Paul and Barnabas were Zeus and Hermes, gods, come down to them in human form. They proceeded to try to worship them. Paul tells them this:
““Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”” Acts 14:15-17 ESV
The people of Lystra followed idols, “vain things.” We also follow “vain things” in our time. We may not bow down to a golden calf or believe in all the Greek gods of ancient times. But we worship our own way over God’s way. This is what the people of the town were doing. God showed His kindness to them so they could find Him, but they could not see Him. Because they were intent on “going their own way.” We do the same.
This is why Jesus came. This is why He sent the Holy Spirit to enable the believers to be witnesses of Him. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to turn from our worthless ways to the living God, who created us and desires for us to know Him intimately. Let us not be as the town of Lystra. They heard what Paul said and turned on him, stoning him and dragging him outside the city. We have the opportunity to accept the truth and let it change us. May we listen to the Spirit of Truth! Come Holy Spirit!