11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
The word ‘saw’ in verse 11 refers back to the preceding 3 verses where Paul healed a lame man. It was based on this miracle, that the crowd and priest of Zeus wanted to offer sacrifices to them. In response both Barnabas and Paul cautioned them against that since they are only humans. Both Barnabas and Paul exhibit a great deal of humility and insight in this situation. Their miraculous works and observing great numbers of people come to faith didn’t ‘go to their heads’. They knew very well all of their results were not out of their own doing or strength. It is very easy for people to place religious people on a pedestal. There’s no fault with treating them with respect, but don’t let people take the place of God in your life (Con).
Thoughts for the day
- Is there a person or situation in your life that’s taking the place of God?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for these organizations who are helping people in need: Home Sweet Home, Renewal Center and Sonflowers.