gods from men
“Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.”
The result above all results! An ecstatic crowd respond really well to this miracle of the lame man.
Granted their theology was wrong, but what a response! Theology can always be ironed out later. This is a wonderful moment to embrace their joy. After having such rejection in Iconium here the team were in Lystra being likened to the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes.
Zeus was living in Barnabas because he is the older man and not as vocal as Paul, he is carrying a superior dignity. Zeus (the Romans used the name Jupiter) is the most powerful of all the gods and seen as the father of them and men. Hermes (the Romans used the name Mercury) was living in Paul. Hermes is the messenger of Zeus, he is the god of eloquence and presided over orators.
It is wrong but it would be easy for Barnabas and Paul to explain that it is not the Greek gods that are inside them but the God of all gods. Surely this is the great opportunity now?!
The favour of man is wonderful and a great opportunity for God to be glorified also. So we embrace it. We don’t let people see our pursuit but it is there in the deepest recesses of our heart. We long to please, to make people smile, to impact for the good. Well, that is one way of saying it. The other is that we long for the drug of praise. Some preachers have taken this drug all their life and they retire as addicts searching for one more hit.
Being likened to someone greater than us is a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to give glory to God. So we embrace it. We secretly want to be the best, better than we are now and better than anyone else. No one must know this. We don’t show ambition, not in Christian circles, we show servanthood. But in the hidden place we want to be better, greater, bigger, we want to be noticed, appreciated, likened to someone before us who had achieved what we are trying to achieve.
Our anointing attracts worshippers and this is a great opportunity for us to divert the worshippers towards God. So we embrace it. We long to see change in people, for people to be transformed and come to God, for the power. The anointing does this. The anointing in us does this. We battle with the truth that we like people looking at us, following us, revering us, in wonder of what we are carrying something. We do like this.
We still make gods of men today.