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Acts 14:1-7, Paul and Barnabas in Iconium

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.
— Acts 14:1

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, May 17, 2019

by R. Fergus Moir, Clergy Stuff


The “same thing” that occurred in Iconium was that after their powerful words led many to believe, the authorities in the town stirred up resistance and had Paul and Barnabas thrown out. But on they went, traveling from city to city, preaching and teaching and establishing churches.

People in power will always do whatever it takes to retain that power. Period. Any attempts to speak truth to power will result in hostility and retaliation. Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the good news of Jesus, he who came “to bring good news to the poor...to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,” (Luke 4:18-19) and they were run out of town under threats of death by stoning.

We, too, are called to proclaim that good news, regardless of the consequences. We, too, need to speak truth to power, knowing full well the risks.

Gracious God, grant me the courage to speak your Word in the world, knowing you are with me. Amen.