Paul’s Way or Herod’s Way

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.  Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates and would have done sacrifice with the people.  Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?  We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

Acts 14:11-15

When Paul and Barnabas starting preaching to these people, they wanted to worship them.  They said “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.”  They even went so far as to call Paul “Mercurius” and Barnabas “Jupiter” after their “gods.”  They brought oxen and garland to the city and were ready to sacrifice to them.  Not too long before this happened, a man named Herod gave a speech.  The people said that his voice was like “the voice of a god.”  Herod and Paul (and Barnabas) were put in the same position and they went two totally different ways.

As we know, Herod accepted that praise, was immediately filled with pride, and was immediately destroyed, being eaten by worms.  Paul, on the other hand, responded by rending his clothes, and telling the people this: “We are also men of like passions with you…”  Paul wanted no worship.  He wanted the people to worship God.

Herod took the worship and the glory from God; Paul directed the worship and glory to God.  They were two different approaches that ended in two very different places.  When we receive praise from men, what do we do with it?  These two examples certainly give us something to think about.

3 responses to this post.

  1. These examples sure do give us something to think about. It wasn’t just the words of Paul and BArnabus that made the people call them gods; It was the supernatural signs and wonders that followed the preaching that caused the people to cry out. I wonder sometimes if one of the reasons God withhold His miraculous hand is because He feels He cannot trust those who are praying for them not to take the credit.


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