THE WORK OF PAUL IN ICONIUM
Key Verse 14: 3aPaul visited Iconium and preached the word. The work at Iconium is characterized by the work of preaching.
1. Paul preached with full assurance (1-3)
The work of the gospel at Iconium seems that there is not too much of a particular character. But the work of the gospel often proceeds by the calm and unceremonious aspect. The words "in such a way" in verse 1 show us how much Paul preached with power and assurance. His preaching brought a lot of souls to Christ. But there was a problem, for the unbelieving Jews stirred the Gentiles to hate and persecute the believers. Their hearts were hard as stones without being convinced by the Spirit who asked them to repent. During their stay in the city, Paul and Barnabas did several works. But the true master of the work was only Jesus. It was Jesus who testified to the truth and it was Jesus who made the miracles visible through their hands. It is important to know that the master of the work is Jesus Christ and let him work according to His will.
2. They proclaimed the Gospel (4-7)
There was a division between believers and unbelievers. These are in principle pagans versus Jews. But the Jews disturb the camps, provoked divisions among the pagans. So they produced a bias among the pagans. Some were from the Jewish Party, and some from the Apostles' Party. Division and bias are the wrong leavens for the people of God. The Jews and pagans who were being fooled by them began to persecute the Apostles. They mistreated them and wanted to stone them. But Paul and Barnabas prayed and decided to flee the city. They went to Lystra and Derbe, two cities of Lycaonia. They were cities of refuge. Being severely persecuted previously, they might have thought it was finally the moment they rested. But that was not the case. Indeed, they began to announce the good news even in this new city. Purely and simply, they proclaimed the Gospel.