God's Truth Is God's Glory
Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out — Acts 14:8-14
So now Paul has traveled about 18 miles south yet again to the town of Lystra. Lystra is a place Paul will visit three times in the book of Acts. And this time, it appears that he gets a more positive welcome than the previous two experiences. He even gets some "god-like" treatment. And to the people's surprise, Barnaba and Paul were not happy about this.
There are a couple of lessons we could take away from this instance.
First, you'll notice that Barnabas and Paul do not go straight to the synagogue. This is because there wasn't a synagogue in Lystra. However, there was a Greek temple. Therefore because of the people's ongoing exposure to Greek mythology and worship, it was easy for them to perceive this lame man's healing as a work of Greek gods. And therein lies lesson one. Sometimes our biases prevent us from seeing the truth. This is exactly why we teach our kids that "bad company corrupts good morals." We understand that constant exposure to corrupt messages and behavior will eventually affect the beliefs of a person. And so Barnabas and Paul must correct this corrupt bias and clarify who worked the miracle.
Second, you'll notice that Barnabas and Paul race to correct the issue not only because they interpret them to be Greek gods, but they misunderstand they did not heal this man at all — it was God. And herein lies lesson two. Sometimes God will do something through us, and it's important to deflect the glory that might be projected onto us when this happens. This is a temptation for all men. It's especially enticing when something finally goes right. And thus, it was right for Barnabas and Paul to correct this quickly.
So the two lessons for us today are this:
- It's God's truth that corrects all man's biases.
- It's God's glory and it's never stolen by man.
ASK THIS: Is there a bias you need to address or glory you need to give to God?
DO THIS: Pursue truth and give Him glory
PRAY THIS: God, I give it all to you. My biases and your glory. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Yours — Elevation.
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