"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Paul at Lystra
Acts 14:8-18 Commentary
by Elisabeth Johnson
On this first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas have proclaimed the gospel in Cyprus (13:4-12), Pisidian Antioch (13:13-50), and Iconium (14:1-7).
In each of these cities they have begun their preaching in synagogues, and have encountered both receptivity and resistance among Jews and "God-fearing" Gentiles (Gentiles who worship at the synagogue but have not become full proselytes). In Lystra, there is no mention of a synagogue, and for the first time, Paul and Barnabas encounter a crowd of Gentiles who have no knowledge of Israel's God.
Healing, Confusion, and Interpretation
The story of Paul and Barnabas in Lystra begins much like the story of Peter and John at the Jerusalem temple in Acts 3. Like Peter and John, Paul and Barnabas encounter a man lame from birth (3:2; 14:8). Like Peter, Paul "looks intently" (3:4; 14:9) at the lame man and commands him to stand up (3:6; 14:10). In both stories, the lame man not only stands but "leaps up" (allomai) and begins to walk (3:8; 14:10).
At this point, however, the stories diverge. In Acts 3, the people are filled with wonder and amazement, which provides Peter an opening to proclaim ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 038: Paul at Lystra.
April 29, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Paul at Lystra: Acts 14:8-18.