No Good Deed Goes UnPunished
How many people have I turned away from or spoken their names in dishonorable ways after they had reached out a hand to lift me up? I can not count the number.
As this journey with Christ goes deeper and deeper and the ill-fated ways of my past continually show up in the Gospel it is like a cleansing is taking place. Before when I was doing “Step Work” in AA it was similar but very different.
Paul, formerly known as Saul, looks a lot like someone else I know. Trying to do the right thing, but somehow it is mistaken for doing the exact wrong thing. Not only is it wrong, it is punishable by stoning! The good news is we no longer allow stoning in the U.S., at least for a little while longer, for it was still allowed I probably would not be here. Paul and Barnabas arrive in Lystra, and, by the power of God perform a miracle only for Paul to be stoned! The people of Lystra thought they had killed him, but alas he was still alive!
Acts 14 NKJV
8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked.
9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.
11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”
12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out
15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,
16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.