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by Wayne Blank
"having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city"
Paul's Ministry was very often a matter of preaching to people who either joyously welcomed the Truth, or violently opposed it. The first specific mention of Lystra in the Scriptures was when Paul "fled unto Lystra" to escape being killed by those who opposed the truth in Iconium.
"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed."
Paul's troubles then began in Lystra as well. After miraculously healing a man at Lystra, by means of the Holy Spirit of God, instead of accepting the true God that made the healing possible, the people began to worship Paul as one of their pagan gods. When Paul pleaded with them to worship the only true God, they dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death, or so they thought - "as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city." Whether The Lord resurrected him from the dead, or "merely" healed the severe wounds that he must have had (those who stoned him would hardly have thought he was dead if he hadn't obviously been severely injured), Paul continued The Work.
"And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked."
As with nearly everywhere else, not all the people of Lystra rejected the Truth and sought to murder the people who preached it. Timothy was among the believing Jews and Greeks of Lystra that became a disciple of Christ through Paul's preaching.
"Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." (Acts 16:1-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: What do the Scriptures tell us about Timothy of Lystra?