In my last blog, I pointed out that as Paul and Barnabas were persecuted and in the midst of that persecution, they remained faithful. (Acts 14) What do you do when people try to worship you? That is exactly what happened next when Paul and Barnabas went to Lystra. Paul healed a lame man and the people thought that the two men were gods. They called Paul Hermes because he was the chief speaker. They called Barnabas Zeus. There was a legend that Zeus and Hermes visited Lystra years before and so the people were all worked up that it was happening again.
How would you respond? My tendency would be to relish in the spotlight momentarily. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes. This was a way to visually show their disapproval of the idolatrous worship of the people of Lystra. They said, “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.” In spite of the people being out of control to worship them, Paul and Barnabas wouldn’t allow it.
Great lesson for us. Run from idolatry. Embrace Humility