Paul and Barnabas were horrified. Absolutely horrified. Sure, they had healed a crippled man but certainly not by their own power. Never by their own power. They were only instruments. They healed in the name of Jesus Christ.
They were definitely not Hermes and Zeus no matter how the people cried out and tried to sacrifice to them.
Appalled as they were, though, Paul and Barnabas understood the people's mistake. These were Gentiles, after all. They knew nothing about the one true God or Jesus Christ. All they had ever known was the strange pantheon of Greek and Roman “gods.” They couldn't be expected to respond any differently to a miracle in their midst.
Paul and Barnabas did their best to restrain the crowds, protesting over and over that they were mere human beings and vehemently proclaiming the truth of the living God. Still, though, the crowds stubbornly resisted. Old habits and old beliefs die hard.
Tuesday – Peace
Peace. Eirēnē. Wholeness. Completeness. All parts joined in harmony.
This is what Jesus leaves us. This is what Jesus gives us. He does not give the same kind of peace that the world gives (or usually does not give). This peace comes directly from Him.
This is the kind of peace that allows us to be still in the midst of troubles, to avoid agitation and upset. This is the kind of peace that prevents us from living in fear of what might happen to us. This is the kind of peace that allows us to place ourselves wholly in the arms of our Lord and stay there.
But do we accept this peace? Or do we cling to our troubles and fears? Do we allow ourselves to be tugged this way and that and split apart?
Lord, You give us Your peace. May we accept that peace and bask in it always. Amen.
(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from http://www.biblehub.com/.)
Wednesday – The Vine and the Branches
Jesus, You are the vine. You provide all the nourishment we need to grow and flourish and bear fruit.
Jesus, without You, we branches can do nothing. We produce no fruit. We wither and die.
Jesus, our Father is the vine grower. He prunes us that we may be more fruitful, that we can better accept and use the nourishment that You, our vine, provide.
Jesus, may we branches always remain in You, our vine. Never let us break off. Keep us fresh and supple. Send Your grace coursing through us that we may bear the fruit of love. May we accept the pruning of our Father for our own good that we may love and glorify Him ever more and more. You, Jesus, are the vine, and we are the branches. Amen.