“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, ‘These men are gods in human form!’ They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles.” 14:11-13
(Bethany offers some great insight on chapter 14; you can read it here.)
The power of Christ is a powerful and appealing thing. It’s so easy to experience the Holy Spirit through someone and misdirect your worship to man instead of God.
Have you been on the receiving end of this? Someone praises your wisdom or charisma, which is really the power of the Spirit moving through you. How do you respond? Or maybe you’ve responded to a good message and a miraculous act the way the crowd did, heaping reverence and honor on the wrong thing.
“ ‘Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.’ “ 14:15-16
What a great response from Paul and Barnabas! I love how they point back to Christ, command repentance and prompt gratefulness. How do you respond to someone who radiates Christ? Let it bring more glory to God, and not man. Amen!