Acts 14:18

Nifty New England architechure just down from the Vermont State Capitol.

Sunday, 19 February 2023

And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them. Acts 14:18

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The apostles have made their appeal to the multitudes before them at Lystra. They have told them about the nature of God and how He has left a witness of Himself in the created order. Despite their appeals, it next says, “And with these sayings.”

Rather, the Greek reads, “And these things saying.” The word “saying” is a present participle verb, not a noun. They were speaking to the people, and even while they continued to appeal to them to be reasonable in their thinking, “they could scarcely restrain the multitudes.”

One can imagine the scene. Someone thought these were the gods having come down among them. And so, they prepare a sacrifice. Even while the apostles are appealing from reason for them to not do this, the crowds remain unreasonable, totally caught up in their vain imaginations. The thought can be summed up in the idea of being in a darkened state, without knowledge, and then acting on a false view of how things really are.

Because they were in this state, and because they were unwilling to believe the words of the apostles, they could scarcely be restrained “from sacrificing to them.”

The crowds had become so deluded in their own thinking that they were willing to ignore the words of the supposed “gods” that they were about to sacrifice to. Though that thinking is wholly illogical, it is as common among readers of the Bible as it could be.

Life application: The attitude of the people, as noted above, was based on either a lack of information, thus acting on a faulty understanding of what was occurring, or it stemmed from a sort of cognitive dissonance where the people simply went ahead with what they believed, even though they had been clearly shown that it was the wrong avenue to pursue.

To understand these two possibilities, one can use any faulty view of a particular matter. For simplicity’s sake, we can use King James Onlyism to explain what is wrong. King James Onlyism is the misplaced belief that the King James Version of the Bible is the only inspired and authorized version.

Using this to look at the two possibilities, the first can be corrected by gaining the knowledge necessary to correct one’s thinking. Suppose someone is told, “You should only read the King James Version. It is inspired by God and all other versions came as an attempt to lead people away from God.” As stupid as that sounds, it is what is commonly taught in this cult.

A person could say, “Ok, I have been told this. Now I will check it out to see if it is true.” In checking it out logically and methodically, he finds out that the KJV is riddled with translational errors so that it contains contradictions, incorrect theological presentations, and so forth. The matter has been investigated and found to be false.

The second possibility, that of cognitive dissonance, is actually harder to resolve. A person is told that the King James Version is the only Bible that should be read. He simply trusts what he is told and allows this thinking to become the predominant thought in his mind from week to week. Eventually, he deceives himself into believing this lie that he has never checked out. Finally, he is presented with a list of errors found in the King James Version, including those of Acts 14:18. (There are at least four translational errors in this one verse in the original KJV. The NKJV cleared up two of them.)

In being presented with the error and shown from the original Greek where the error lies, the man’s mind mentally denies what he sees and it conjures up an excuse to suit his thinking, “Well then, the original Greek is wrong. I know God inspired the KJV, and so the text from which it is derived is obviously in error.” As crazy as that sounds, this is the view of those who are in this cult. They deny the reasonable and go forward in their state of delusion.

This is what occurred right before the eyes of Barnabas and Paul. They had provided the truth and the people had failed to check it out with what is logical and reasonable. But more, when they were presented with evidence, from the source of the events that had transpired (meaning the healing of the crippled man by the Lord through the word of the apostles), they simply continued to believe what their own minds had conjured up.

The Bible is showing us, in its own pages, that we are to think. We are to use logic and reason because God is both logical and reasonable. He has endowed these traits in us, and He expects us to use them along with our faith to make a right determination about who He is, what He has done, and what He continues to do in the world around us.

Be aware of how your mind works and be aware of how your own thoughts can deceive you if you are unwilling to accept that it may be wrong. This is an important lesson from Acts 14 that you should consider.

Lord God, help us to think clearly and reasonably in how we approach You, Your word, and our interpretation of the world around us. We are to be people of faith, but we are not to be people of blind faith. You have revealed Yourself to us through Scripture, so our walk is to be in Your revealed light, not helplessly groping around to find our next step. Thank You for Your word. Now help us to consider it properly, all the days of our lives. Amen.