And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke…
Here are four things noteworthy.
I. AN EXTENSIVE CONVERSION (ver. 1). The preaching that ends in enlightened practical faith is that which Christ ordained, and what the world wants. There is a preaching that produces —
1. Mere passing emotion.
II. A VIOLENT OPPOSITION (ver. 2). The spiritual victories they won in the synagogue roused the antagonism of the unbelieving Jew, who used his great social influence to their injury. They "stirred up the Gentiles," i.e., excited and embittered their minds with hostile passions. It is ever true that those who reject the gospel seek to deter others from accepting it. "Ye go not in yourselves, and prevent those who would," is a Divine allegation, ever true of the rejectors of Christianity.
III. A DIVINE DEMONSTRATION. Opposition neither drove them at once from the sphere of their labour, nor lessened the displays of Divine power. Divinity appears —
1. In their subject. The "Word of His grace," His gracious Word, the gospel. Whatever doctrines men draw from the gospel that are not gracious, are not true.
2. In their spirit. "Speaking boldly." They show a heroism more than human in continuing and speaking in the very scene of persecution.
3. In their miracles. The stronger the evil one appeared in Iconium opposing the mission of the apostles, the higher rose the manifestations of God in their behalf. "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
IV. A SOCIAL SEPARATION (ver. 4). "Divided" — the Greek word from which schism is derived. There was a rent created through the ministry of the apostles. Such unity of sympathy as existed before in the population was divided, and part flowed towards the Jews and part towards the apostles. The searching ministry of the apostles made bare the hearts of the people. Those who took part with the Jews made "an assault" upon the apostles. The storm raised, however, was under the direction of God. It was a Divine breeze, to bear the precious seeds of truth to regions farther on. The apostles fled unto Lystra and Derbe, not from fear, but from the instinct of duty.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.