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Paul and Barnabas Paid Homage

Discovering the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  54:05
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Paul and Barnabas are mistakingly recieved as gods. they quickly correct the mistake of the Gentiles about who the real God is and that they are only men.

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Acts 14:11–18 ESV
11 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!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 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. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “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. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 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.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
Acts 14:11–18 ESV
11 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!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 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. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “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. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 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.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

Wrong Response to the Miracle

Acts 14:11–13 ESV
11 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!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 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.
Acts 14:11-13
Acts 14:11–13 ESV
11 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!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 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.
Question: Who did the crowds mistake Paul and Barnabas to be? The crowds wrongly called Paul Hermes and Barnabas they called Zeus. These are Greek gods of mythology.
Why did they mistake the identities of Paul and Barnabas? Because of the healing of the Lame Man.

Right Response to the Praise of Men

Acts 14:14–15 ESV
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “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.
Acts 14:14-15
Acts 14:14-
Acts 14:14–15 ESV
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “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.
Question: What is an Apostle?

Designation of Apostles

Synopsis
An apostle is one who is “sent” by Jesus Christ. The word is used to refer especially to the inner circle of Christ’s twelve disciples, but is also used specifically to refer to Paul, who was commissioned as an apostle by the risen Christ. The term is also applied (more loosely) to certain other leading Christians in the NT period.
First here is a designation you may not have guessed...

Jesus Christ as an apostle

This is the only place where the word “apostle” is used of Jesus Christ, though many passages refer to him as “sent”; Jesus Christ, as God’s “sent one”, sets the standard and pattern for all who are likewise “sent” (i.e., for all apostolic ministry).
Hebrews 3:1 ESV
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
John 20:21 ESV
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
See also ; ; ;
(ESV) — 40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.
(ESV) — 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
(ESV) — 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
(ESV) — 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.

The twelve apostles called by Jesus Christ

Their appointment

(ESV) — 13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Mark 3:13–19 ESV
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Their number

“the Twelve” is frequently used to designate these specially chosen disciples. The number twelve evokes the twelve tribes of Israel.
John 6:70 ESV
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”
See also ; ; ; ; ; ;
(ESV) — 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
(ESV) — 17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,
(ESV) — 11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
(ESV) — 1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,
(ESV) — 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
(ESV) — 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
(ESV) — 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Their commissioning by the risen Christ

(ESV) — 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The replacement for Judas

See also The symbolic number (twelve) is thus preserved.
(ESV) — 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

The qualifications for being an apostle

Acts 1:21–22 ESV
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

Paul as an apostle

His self-designation

Galatians 1:1 ESV
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
Question: Why did the crowd think Paul and Barnabas were gods?
See also ; ;
(ESV) — 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
(ESV) — 1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
(ESV) — 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

His commissioning by Jesus Christ

Although not one of the Twelve, Paul saw the risen Christ and was directly commissioned by him, sent especially to the Gentiles; ;
(ESV) — 12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
(ESV) — 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
(ESV) — 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

Paul’s apostleship and the church

In Paul’s case the sense of title or office and the ministry and function virtually coincide. He is an apostle both because he has seen and been commissioned by the risen Christ and because he functioned as an apostle by founding churches.
1 Corinthians 9:1–2 ESV
1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Other apostles

Barnabas

Here “apostles” may refer to their ministry as missionary evangelists or to their role as “sent” by the church at Antioch:
; ;
(ESV) — 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.
(ESV) — 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,

James, the Lord’s brother

The most natural meaning of the words is that James is an apostle. This interpretation is confirmed by other references to James; ;
(ESV) — 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
(ESV) — 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
(ESV) — 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Andronicus? and Junias?

(ESV) — 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

Silas

(ESV) — 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
“representatives” is the translation here for “apostles”; “messenger” is the translation here for “apostle”
(ESV) — 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
(ESV) — 25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,

False apostles

Paul ironically refers to his opponents as “super-apostles”; ; ;
(ESV) — 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
(ESV) — 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
(ESV) — 11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing.
(ESV) — 2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

Setting the Record Straight

Acts 14:15-17
Acts 14:15–17 ESV
15 “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. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 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.”
Question: Why didn’t Paul and Barnabas accept the worship of the crowd? Paul and Barnabas properly demonstrate that God alone is to be worshipped.

Dangerous Made-Up Minds

Old Habits Die Hard

Acts 14:18 ESV
18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
The Lycaonia people in Lystra are mixing their old beliefs with the one that Paul and Barnabas are presenting.
Question: What tendency do people demonstrate when moving from one faith to another in view of verse 18? People tend to bring their old habits and beliefs to the new life that they are called to.
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