“We too are only human”

Acts 14:8-20

Our heroes continue their journey back East over Turkey as they are headed to Jerusalem.  In Lystra, Paul heals a man born lame who has never walked in his life but who believes.  Paul identifies his budding faith and calls the man into life!  Wow!  That is what the crowd says also and prepares a sacrifice, assuming Paul and Barnabas are their gods Zeus and Hermes.  Talk about mistaken identity.  How often is the miraculous credited to the known gods of people?  Do we worship the vaccine or the maker of our bodies?  Do we idolize the politician that delivers what we want rather than the God who blesses us with sun, rain, and life, what we need?  The miraculous can lead us astray if we do not recognize the true God at work!

         Paul and Barnabas tear their clothes, run into the crowd who are bringing a bull to sacrifice and yell, “We, too, are only human like you.”  It seems that was a real bubble breaker.  I suspect much like getting that medical bill in the mail, like failing your driving test, like being told the marriage is over…like being told you’re a failure.  The crowd does not search for the truth but turns on our men and stones them.  It is true, they are only human.  They are left, assumed dead.  Amazingly as the believers gather to mourn, Paul gets up and goes back to the city, leaving the next day.

         I suspect most of us are a bit like the crowd more so than being a miracle worker like Paul.  Like the crowd we make mistakes.  The question that comes to mind is how we handle our mistakes or unfulfilled expectations?  How do we handle disappointment?  When the doctor doesn’t heal us, when the pastor is not perfect, when a friend seems to betray us, all those things that throw us into a tailspin, do we erupt in condemnation and stoning?  Aesop told a fable of a fox who saw juicy grapes growing on a tall tree.  The fox jumped and jumped but could not get them.  So in frustration, the fox turns its back and walks away saying the grapes are probably sour.  I’m guessing that is the origin of the saying “sour grapes.” 

         Paul and Barnabas are only human like us and we are challenged to look beyond them to see the truth of the real God giving power to heal and who raises us up from our rejections.  Paul and Barnabas do not wait around to argue with people unwilling to slow their roll and listen.  They move on.

      Lord, help us to truly see your hand in our lives and to be patient with others who are truly only human.  Help us keep our eyes on you!

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