I couldn’t not write today on my thoughts on today’s Sunday School lesson.

I almost titled the Post, “How could this Jesus thing be a hoax?”

Because, you see, if this were a hoax, then…

–A crippled man lame since birth, couldn’t have jumped up and walked. Even today, when people begin to walk after some injury to their legs, they need physical therapy. They can’t just jump up and walk. JUMP. The man, lame since birth, jumped up! This was a complete healing and there were witnesses. And these witnesses believed it was a miracle because they thought Paul and Barnabas were Greek gods.

–Paul and Barnabas would have embraced their mistaken identity for Greek gods. We all want fame and they could have had it by just saying, “Yes, we are Zeus and Hermes. See the marvelous things we’ve done.” But they didn’t. Instead Paul and Barnabas told the people to turn from the worthless worship of these gods and instead worship the one true living God.

–Paul would not have allowed himself to be stoned. He would have said as the stones were poised to be hurled in his direction, “Whoa, whoa, wait. Before you throw that first rock at me, I want to say you’re right. What I’ve been saying all along is false. Jesus isn’t the Messiah. He can’t heal the sick, save people from hell. I admit I was doing it for the money and for fame. Please don’t kill me. I won’t say another word about this man named Jesus.” No, he didn’t do that. Instead, he watched as the stones pelted his body until he was knocked unconscious.

Here is the story from scripture:

Acts 14:8-20 (NIV)

8In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

11When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13The 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.

14But 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. 16In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17Yet 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.” 18Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

19Then 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. 20But 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.