The Ministry in Iconium - Acts 14

The way Paul and Barnabas spoke led many to faith. These were both Jews and Greeks. The Jews who did not believed stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. The narrator point of view is clearly on the side of the oppressed. They are described as brothers. The persecution comes from the unbelieving Jews. We are not told how they poisoned the souls (ἐκάκωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς) but perhaps this should be understood as referring to slander and contradicting the message/teaching of Paul and Barnabas.
You would expect that they would continue in their travel to other places, but they remained there for a long time. It seems that as long as their lives are not in danger they would continue their missionary work in that place. Their message was a message of Lord’s grace. The Lord himself testified to that message by granting signs and wonders to be done through them.
Facing this strong witness the residents of the city were divided. A ministry of grace leads to have people taking sides: with the Jews or with the apostles (σὺν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις οἱ δὲ σὺν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις). Here for the first time Paul and Barnabas are described as ‘apostles.’ This should be understood as pointing to some workers/preachers/missionaries alongside with the Twelve. The opposition grows to the point of stoning them (λιθοβολῆσαι αὐτούς). At this point they flee to Lystra and Derbe. They continued to proclaim the Good News there.
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