We see the pattern repeating in Acts 14 that we saw in Acts 13. Paul and Barnabas preach and people people and the Jewish leaders stir up trouble. They poisoned the minds of the people. Even when you preach truth there is always someone poisoning the minds of the people. Thats the enemy’s strategy to scramble the minds of people hearing life-giving Good News. He would rather keep us down. The apostles combated the strategy if the enemy with time, bold preaching, grace and God’s manifest power. That should be our playbook also.
God’s power showed up in such a strong way that the people though they were mythological gods. That bothered Paul and Barnabas. They tore their clothes in lament. We should never take the glory for what God does through us. I pray my response would be the same when anyone tries to praise me instead of giving God the glory. They used this as an opportunity to point back to the cross and the existence of God.
Even after this the people tried to sacrifice to them. Even when you explain something well there will be people who still just don’t get it. The patterns of wrong thinking and deep held beliefs systems take time to tear down. Once again Jews stirred up people and Paul was stoned to death. God worked a miracle and brought him back.
He continued on his journey and they went back to the towns they already visited to strengthen the believers and appoint leaders. They appointed leaders by praying, fasting, turning them to God’s care and trusting them. They eventually returned to Antioch to report what had happened in every city. They stayed there a while.