Today’s reading: Acts 14
Today we read of Paul’s preaching to the gentiles. Paul heals a man who had not been able to walk since birth. The healing causes the local people to think that the pagan gods have come down and appeared as men. They think that Baranabas and Paul are Zeus and Hermes, respectively. Paul dissuades them of this idea and much intrigue follows. Jews from Antioch come and stir up the people against Paul and they stone him. Paul survives and then continues his preaching throughout the area.
What’s particularly relevant to notice is that Antioch is the source of much of the conflict. Factions that are based there are causing division within the Church. We are specifically told that at the end of this episode that Paul returns to Antioch. This detective story will come to a head tomorrow, when we read about the Council of Jerusalem.
Also notice, that as Paul is traveling he leaves behind people in charge:
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.
This shows that from the beginning the Church had structure, hierarchy and authority.
Tomorrow: Acts 15:1-21