Today is Tuesday, October 17th, 2017.  In today’s passage, we see Paul and Barnabas share the gospel with two different people groups and receive two radically different responses. Often times, when we seek to share truth, that truth can be hotly rejected of deeply misunderstood. Let’s see how Paul and Barnabas deal with these reactions.


CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)

_ Have you shared the gospel with someone and been rejected or misunderstood?
_ How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

PRAY
Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read the passage, which has been completely inspired by God.


DISCOVER  [Acts 14:1-18]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue.There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the gospel.

_ What motivated the Jews, in verse two, to poison the minds of their brothers?
_ How did God empower Paul and Barnabas in the midst of such opposition?
_ Did receiving such hostile responses affect the way that Paul and Barnabas shared the truth? If so, how?
_ What do these verses teach us about sharing truth?

8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

_ Why do the Lycaonians idolize Paul and Barnabas?
_ How do Paul and Barnabas respond to being called gods?
_ How was this response different from the one they received in Iconium? Was this reaction preferable? Why or why not?
_ What do these verses teach us about sharing truth?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Paul and Barnabas continued to preach the truth in the midst of strong opposition and only left when it was absolutely necessary. How would you have acted in this situation?
_ In the midst of flattery and acceptance, Paul and Barnabas continued to condemn the Lycaonian’s sin and preach the gospel. Do you value personal acceptance over boldness in the gospel?

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?