Friday, July 06, 2007

Would you want to follow this guy?

A very interesting picture and possible exchange of dialogue ran through my mind as I contemplated Acts 14:21 “They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples…”

You see, Paul was just stoned and left for dead the day before in Lystra. Can you even imagine what this guy must have looked like? He was, at the least, bruised, cut, and swollen. But here he was in Derbe preaching the gospel with everything in him. I imagine that those listening to him and looking at his beaten body had to be wondering what had happened to him.

Could you imagine the potential dialogue between Paul and the crowd?
Crowd: “What in the world happened to you?”
Paul: “I was stoned in the city of Lystra”
Crowd: “Why were you stoned?”
Paul: “Some people didn’t like what I was saying. This gospel offended them. So, they stoned me. This isn’t the first time I have experienced persecution.”
Crowd: “So you are encouraging us to follow this Jesus? The one you have been
persecuted for speaking about?
Paul “Yes."

With all that was going on in the region, the news of Paul’s stoning, and the beaten appearance of Paul himself, it is just incredible that they “won a large number of disciples” in Derbe. Maybe it is hard for us to understand how this could have happened when we see people in America having difficulty being disciples of Christ because they need to give up some TV time, say no to sin, congregate with other believers on a regular basis, and spend time in God’s Word.

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