Romans gods began taking on the forms that people would recognize today during the dynasty of the Etruscan kings. This reign of the city of Rome took place during the 6th century BC. During this period, Romans adapted a group of three Etruscan gods as the focus of state worship. Based upon the passage below, the city of Lystra also practiced the worship of ancient Greek gods as well.
Now at Lystra a man sat who was unable to use his feet, for he was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, and Paul looked intently at him and saw that he had faith to be healed, 10 and said with a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet.” And he jumped up and began to walk. 11 And the crowds, when they saw what Paul had done, raised their voices, shouting in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” – Acts 14:8-11
This belief led eyewitnesses of a healing to refer to Paul and Barnabas as gods in human form. This wasn’t a joke as Barnabas was nicknamed Zeus and Paul Hermes. Based upon these labels, Barnabas is the elder statesman where as Paul is the messenger, the voice of God. Whenever you witness a miracle, events that follow are often seen in a positive light. Thus, as Paul began to speak following the healing of a crippled man, the crowd was amazed by his words.
They began calling Barnabas, Zeus [chief of the Greek gods], and Paul, Hermes [messenger of the Greek gods], since he took the lead in speaking. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance of the city, brought bulls and garlands to the city gates, and wanted to offer sacrifices with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard about it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are only men of the same nature as you, bringing the good news to you, so that you turn from these useless and meaningless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them, Acts 14:12-15.
For someone who have posted over 1,700 blogs, the quality of my message varies. Sometimes writer’s block causes me to struggle to complete an average blog. On some occasions, inspiration naturally flows out of me resulting in a creative blog. However, whenever I keep in step with the Holy Spirit by staying in tune with the Bible, a post turns into a message from God. While I don’t possess the gift of healing like the apostles, I am committed to listening to God’s still small voice so that I can fulfill my role as a messenger of God.
by Jay Mankus