The title for this sermon is Your Pastor Is Not God.
Our text for this sermon comes from Acts 14:8-18.
Lystra became a Roman colony in 6 BC. Later it became part of the Roman province of Galatia. Soon after, the Romans built a road that connected Lystra to Iconium.
Because of the heavy influences of Roman and Greek cultures, Lystra was a polytheistic society. The people did not believe in one God, they believed in many gods.
vs. 8 A man was born crippled. He had never walked. He does not know what it would be like to walk. All of his life, he has only seen other people walk.
vs. 9-10 Paul looked at the man intently. How is it that Paul saw his faith to be made well? The Holy Spirit gave Paul the ability to have such a level of discernment as to actually see the faith inside the man. It was like Paul was staring into the man’s soul.
vs. 11-12 Being that the people spoke Lycaonian, Paul and Barnabas had no idea what they were saying.
In Greek religious tradition, Hermes is the herald or the messenger. He was responsible for communication between the gods and humans. Zeus is the head of all the other gods. Zeus is known to carry lightening bolts and in times of anger and rage throw them. This is one of the incorrect views people have of the real God. God does not sit on a throne waiting for you to screw up so that he can hurl lightening bolts at you.
The people thought because a man was healed, that Paul and Barnabas were gods. Mythology says, Zeus and Hermes occasionally came down in human form.
vs. 13 Zeus was so popular as a god among the people that they had built a temple to worship him. The priest went out to the people and wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas and treat them as gods.
vs. 14 Paul and Barnabas were distraught over this act of the people.
vs. 15-18 Paul rightly points the people to Jesus.