How many of you readers like Dr. Pepper, the soft drink? I only have drunk one or so. I think it tastes like some kind of medicine, to me it tastes weird.
Well as I was reading my devotions this morning, a jingle came to mind. How many of you know this jingle? Dr. Pepper, so misunderstood! If everyone would try one they’d know they taste good, so good!
What in the world does this jingle have to do with scripture? Well, it doesn’t, but it came to mind.
Please read the following verses.
1 At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the good news.
8 In Lystra, there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10, and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas, they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
So do you see why the jingle came to mind? The word misunderstood, certainly Paul and Barnabas were misunderstood.
In this portion of scripture you just read, the Jewish people hatch a plot to kill Paul and Silas, so they move along. At their next stop, the Lord uses them to heal a man and the crowds want to worship them and make sacrifices to them.
After Paul and Silas nip that in the budd, they go to yet another place where Paul will be stoned and left for dead. I believe he was dead and the Lord God brought him back to life.
Then Paul and Barnabas move on.
Now I think what we see in these verses, is certainly the truth that Paul and Silas were misunderstood.
Even today, believers might be misunderstood. We may try to help someone who becomes suspicious of why we would do this.
We may talk to people about the Lord and tell of the Gospel of Grace, the way to salvation. And people won’t believe it or misunderstand what we are trying to do.
As long as believers live, there will be misunderstandings.
We work for and serve the Lord, who is above all suspicion because we are His servants. We pray that with the Holy Spirit’s help, we will not be misunderstood and the Lord will use us for His Honor and glory.
Be Blessed, Be a Blessing.