Today’s Scripture: Acts 14:19-20
Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. 20 But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
I’m not sure why this particular passage stood out to me in today’s Immerse readings. I could have easily rushed right past it. We learn today about Paul’s pattern of visiting a new town: 1) preach in the synagogue about Jesus, 2) make the Jews in the city jealous and angry, 3) get thrown out of the city.
In the city of Lystra the people at first thought Paul and Barnabas were the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes. The citizens even tried to offer sacrifices to them! But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium had followed Paul and Barnabas to Lystra in order to convince the crowd that Paul and Barnabas were in the wrong. The crowd was persuaded to turn against them and got so worked up that Paul was stoned and dragged out of the city.
But here is where things get interesting. The text says that even though the Lystryians thought he was dead, “as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town”! Seriously?
Couple of things to remember today. First, when you get attacked by life – it’s good to have people gather around you. That’s what the church should be – a place where we can gather around each other when one of us has been hurt by life. The second thing we should remember from this passage is this: when we are attacked by life – when we have stones thrown at us – when the world seems dark, we need to get up and head back into town.
We may have to “get up” off the ground several times a day! But that’s OK. Just keep getting up. Rely on the people around you to help – and get up and walk back into town.
Who knows what God has in store for you next.
God sometimes we get so worn down by life that it seems impossible to get up and walk back into down. Give us strength. Give us individuals around us who will help us. Give us courage to stand.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 6 61-70 Acts 1:1-6:7
Day 7 70-82 Acts 6:8-12:25
Day 8 82-94 Acts 13:1-19-:20
Day 9 95-110 Acts 19:21-28:30
Day 10 111-123 1Th 1:1-2Th 3:18