WHEN Paul and Barnabas were driven from Antioch, they shook off the dust of their feet, thus fulfilling the instruction of our Lord to his disciples, as found in Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; 10:11.

They traveled in a southeasterly direction, and stopped at Iconium, an important city of Lycaonia, and situated nearly a hundred miles from Antioch.

 In Iconium, as in all the chief cities of Asia Minor, there were many Jews, who worshiped in their synagogues every Sabbath.  So, by going into the synagogue, Paul and Barnabas gained an opportunity of speaking to the people, or to the Jews at least.  Here they taught that Jesus was the Christ, and that through him alone can men be saved. They must have had other listeners besides the Jews; for the Sacred Record says that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

Here, as elsewhere, the unbelieving Jews were the worst enemies the apostles had to meet. They not only opposed publicly, but in private stirred up the minds of the Gentiles, and set them against the truth, and all who believed it. But the apostles remained here a long time, speaking the word of God with boldness, and proving the truth of their doctrine by many miraculous signs and wonders, which the Lord graciously granted them power to perform. The people of the city were divided, some taking part with the apostles, and others against them. The opposition finally became so violent that plans were laid for stoning Paul and Barnabas; but they, having learned of their danger, fled from Iconium, and taught in Lystra, in Derbe, and in other parts of Lycaonia.

While they were preaching in Lystra, a man sat listening, who had been a cripple from his birth, having never walked. To him Paul's attention was directed, doubtless by the Spirit of God; and perceiving that the man had faith to be healed, Paul cried with a loud voice, "Stand upright on thy feet." Immediately the man leaped upon his feet, and walked.

The people were astonished at this miracle, and cried out in the speech of Lycaonia, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men." They thought that Barnabas represented the god Jupiter, and that Paul was the impersonation of Mercury, since he was the chief speaker, and, according to their false religion, the god Mercury was very eloquent.

Now there was before the city a temple dedicated to the worship of Jupiter; and when the priest of that temple heard that the gods had come down among them, he brought oxen and garlands to offer sacrifice, and join with the people in worshiping the apostles.

As soon as Paul and Barnabas learned of this, they were greatly distressed, and running in among the people, cried out, "Sirs, why do ye these things?

We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

The utmost efforts of the apostles could scarcely prevent the Lystrians from worshiping them: but no sooner had certain wicked Jews come to them from Antioch and Iconium than they were persuaded to join in stoning Paul until he was supposed to be dead, and was dragged out of the city.  As some of the faithful disciples were standing, as they thought, around the dead body of their beloved teacher, he rose up, and went back with them into the city.

On the next day after being stoned, Paul took Barnabas, and went to Derbe, where they faithfully preached the gospel to the people of that city. So far as we know, they met with no persecution here; and after fulfilling their mission, they retraced their steps, visiting Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, and strengthening the churches they had established at these places. Luke says that they confirmed the souls of the disciples, exhorted them to continue in the faith, and taught them that through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom of God.  When they had ordained elders in every church, and had prayed and 'fasted with the brethren, they commended them to the Lord on whom they believed.

The apostles then continued their journey homeward, through Pisidia and Pamphylia, to Perga.

After preaching in this place, they went to Attalia, a seaport town a few miles west of Perga. On leaving Attalia they sailed to Antioch in Syria, the place from which they had been sent out by the command of the Spirit of God, and with the prayers and benedictions of their brethren. When the church had come together, Paul and Barnabas related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the way of salvation to the Gentiles.