Categories: Sermons

Meditate On This: Lost

Meditate On This

The first missionary journey of Paul begins in Acts 13, and almost immediately, they find conflict. In Paphos, there is this man named Bar-Jesus who opposes Paul and Barnabas. In short, things get pretty rough for Bar-Jesus, and then Paul and Barnabas are run out of town. 

In the two chapters of Acts that highlight this first journey (Acts 13-14), this happens several times. Paul and Barnabas will arrive in a city, preach at the synagogue, convert people, and then are asked (sometimes nicely) to get out. For a moment, imagine that you are Paul. You have just turned your life around, but at every corner there is chaos, and you feel like you are lost. 

This leads us to a scene in Lystra. Paul and Barnabas show up and do perform a miracle. The crowd loves it and literally begin praising them, but with a twist. The crowd believes that Paul and Barnabas are Hermes and Zeus, two Greek gods. This frustrates Paul (and rightfully so) so much that he begs everyone to get their act together and recognize that they are just men! God has done the work here. But alas, Paul is stoned by the people and left for dead.

This section ends with Paul returning Antioch, a place that feels like home to him. Often, when we are lost, we tend to make things worse by not realizing where we are or going back to a place where we have foundation, a place that feels like home. I think when Paul retunes to Antioch, he is thrilled, because these people love and support him. And even though there has been a lot to rejoice about in the first trip, I guarantee that Paul felt lost and frustrated at times. But by returning home, he’s able to set his feet on solid ground before going back out on another trip.