Paul and Barnabas go to Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, all cities in present-day Turkey. They then circle back to each of the cities they previously visited on their way back to Antioch in Syria, which is different from the Antioch in Turkey. They follow the pattern of going to Jews first and then to Gentiles. They also perform miracles to demonstrate that the message they are preaching comes from God. Despite these demonstrations of God’s power in them, there are many who reject the message. The people in Lystra react in a different way; they think Paul and Barnabas are gods. Unlike Herod, whom we read about in chapter 12, Paul and Barnabas are horrified at this reaction. They want everyone to know that the power comes from God. It doesn’t take long for the people to turn on Paul and Barnabas.
The people were excited when they saw they could benefit from God’s power in Paul and Barnabas, but didn’t really turn to Jesus. Since their excitement was not true faith, it didn’t continue. As Christians, we should be in our communities doing the things Jesus would have done. Some may get excited about us doing things for them, but unless they turn to Jesus in faith, the effect will only be temporary. That doesn’t mean we stop doing good things, but it does mean that we should always be pointing people back to Jesus.