The Children's Bible
Paul And Barnabas In Foreign Lands
aul and Barnabas, sent by the Holy Spirit, went to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they came to Salamis, they, with Mark as their helper, told God's message in the Jewish synagogue.
When they had gone over the whole island as far as Paphos, they set sail, and Paul and his companions came to Perga in Pamphylia. There Mark left them to return to Jerusalem, but they went on to Antioch. On the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets the men in charge of the synagogue service sent word to them, "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it." So Paul stood up and motioning with his hand said, "Listen, men of Israel and you who worship God. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers. While they were in Egypt he made them a great people, and then with wonderful signs of his power he led them out of that land. After destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them that land to have as their own and later made David their king. From David's family God brought to Israel, as he had promised, a Saviour, Jesus.
"Brothers, sons of Abraham's race, and all among you who worship God, to us has been sent this saving message. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not believe Jesus, and though they could find no reason why he should be killed, they asked Pilate to put him to death. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had come with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people. So we bring you the good news that God, by raising Jesus from the dead, has fulfilled for our children the promise made to our fathers."
As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people begged that this be repeated to them on the following Sabbath. After the congregation broke up, many of the Jews and religious Greeks followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them, urging them through God's help to remain loyal.
On the next Sabbath nearly all the people of the city came to hear the message of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowd, they were jealous and began to contradict what Paul said, and to insult him. But Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly and said, "It was necessary that God's message should be spoken first to you; but since you will not hear it and prove yourselves unworthy of eternal life, here and now we turn to those who are not Jews. For this is the Lord's command to us: 'I have set you as a light to other races, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
When those who were not Jews heard this, they were glad and gave thanks for God's message; and as many as were ordained to receive eternal life believed, and God's message was carried far and wide throughout the country. But the Jews, with the help of women of high rank and the leading men in the city, started a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them from the city. So the apostles shook the dust from their feet as a protest against them, and went on to Iconium. The new disciples, however, were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke, so that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who did not believe stirred up the other races and poisoned their minds against the apostles. The people of the town were divided, some being on the side of the Jews and others on the side of the apostles. An attempt was made both by the other races and by the Jews, with the help of their rulers, to attack and stone the apostles; but they learned of it and escaped to the towns of Lystra and Derbe, and there they continued to preach the good news.
At Lystra there was a man who could not move his feet, who had been lame from his birth and had never walked. As this man listened to Paul's preaching, the apostle fixed his eyes on him and, seeing that he had faith enough to make him well, said in a loud voice, "Stand up on your feet." And the man sprang up and began to walk. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their language, "The gods have come down to us in the form of men!" Barnabas they called "Zeus," and Paul "Hermes," because he was the chief speaker. The priests of the temple of Zeus, which stood in front of the town, brought oxen and wreaths to the gates, so as to join the crowds in offering sacrifice to them.
But when Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd, shouting, "Men, why are you doing this? We are but men like yourselves, and are bringing you the good news so that you may turn from these idols and worship the living God who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. In past ages he allowed all nations to worship as they pleased; yet as the bountiful Giver he did not leave himself without a witness, for he gives you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and makes your hearts happy with food and good cheer." Yet even with these words they could hardly keep the crowd from sacrificing to them.
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds, who stoned Paul, and then, believing him dead, dragged him out of the city. However, when the disciples had gathered about him, he got up and went into the city.
The next day he went with Barnabas to Derbe. After they had preached the good news to that city and had won many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, and encouraged the disciples urging them to be true to the faith. Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia, and after preaching in Perga, they went down to Attaleia. From there they set sail for Antioch.
When they reached Antioch, they called together the members of the church and told everything that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to those who were not Jews. And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.