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Paul and Barnabas Stoned

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 May 2009No Comment

The first missionary journey of Paul

In 14:28 we find Paul and Barnabas resting in the company of the other disciples at Antioch. Paul had just completed his first missionary journey with Barnabas. From the time they shook the dust off their sandals at Antioch in Pisidia, they’ve experienced some highs and lows in their work as evangelizers. The episode in Lystra (14:8-18) was some sort of a “high” because of the eagerness with which Paul and Barnabas was welcomed; they were literally accepted as “gods”! If there was sadness in that event — Paul and Barnabas tore their garments in protest at the idolizing they received — it could not have been worse than the stoning they received in the same place. Beginning from Iconium, there have been Jews poisoning the minds of the Gentiles against these Christian preachers. The violence that the Jewish propaganda roused against them was such that they fled to the cities of Lycaonia (v.7) At Lystra, Paul was stoned and was left for dead (v. 19). About these sufferings they were receiving from people who hated them, Paul and Barnabas can only say “We must receive a lot of tribulations so as to enter the kingdom of God” (v.22)

Stoning of Paul and BarnabasThe above quote reminds one of many similar phrases in the Gospel of Luke about the tribulations that the disciple must (dei) undergo for the sake of the Kingdom of God. One of these would be about the cross that the disciple should carry daily (Luke’s emphasis Luke 9:23; 14:27.). Paul, in 1 Corinthians can be graphic in his description of the disciple’s sufferings

10We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.
1 Corinthians 4:10-13 (ESV)

Again in 2 Corinthians, Paul presents his credentials as an apostle:

21But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
2 Corinthians 11:21-29 (ESV)

And the story of Paul and Barnabas stoned and chased continues even now in those who have thrown their lot with the Lord.  “If the world hates you, remember, it has hated me first.” (John 15:18)

Luke 9:23; 14:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
923And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
1427And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
1 Corinthians 4:10-13
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10We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour.
11Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode;
12And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it.
13We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now.
2 Corinthians 11:21-29
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21I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also.
22They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I.
23They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise). I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.
24Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one.
25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.
26In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren.
27In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches.
29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire?
John 15:18
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18If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.

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