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Iconium of Asia
Brief Overview of Paul's Visit to Iconium on His First Missionary Journey
# 5 Paul and Barnabas traveled 80 miles southeast to Iconium of Lycaonia.
When they had entered the synagogue, the unbelieving Jews had already poisoned
the people's minds. Persecution was raised by the unbelieving Jews, but the
apostles stayed a long time and preached and were , encouraged by the miracles
that God worked through them.
Iconium was located in the central plateau region at the foot of the Taurus Mountains, a five to six thousand foot mountain range. Iconium had a good water supply and was well situated for defense. Iconium was like a garden in that arid region, and had been called "the Damascus of Asia."
Although a great multitude believed the gospel at Iconium, because of their Jewish instigators the city was divided in opinion about the message preached by the evangelists. When a threat was made on their lives to raise a riot and stone them, Paul and Barnabas fled to Lystra and Derbe (Acts 13:51-14:6).
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His
Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
There is no doubt in what the Word of the Lord says, that Jesus came, "in the fullness of time." Politically, intellectually, morally, and everything else in the Graeco-Roman world was ready for the message of the gospel. One note worth mentioning is that in the gentile world, it is told, there was an expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judaea (Tacitus, History v. 13; Suetonius, Vespas. 4).
When Jesus died on a Roman cross it was not the end but the beginning. His followers would spread a message called the "gospel" meaning good news starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the farthest parts of the known world. Their message was:
Jesus, a lowly Jewish carpenter from the despised city of Nazareth, was rejected by His own Jewish nation and crucified by the Roman governor was indeed the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, who rose from the dead and anyone who would accept Him would be forgiven of all sins and would rise with Him in glory.
Those who spread the message were mostly Jews and were commanded by the Lord to go to the Jewish brethren first and then to the gentiles. When they entered Jewish synagogues they were scorned and persecuted by most of the Jews, and even the Greco-Roman cultures referred to their message as "superstitious rabble." Yet the Book of Acts reveals that the message about Jesus Christ spread to all who of those who had open hearts throughout the whole Mediterranean world and, as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit entered hearts and lives.
Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were called on a mission by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. In his missions he preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up elders for the new Churches. He is also heavily persecuted, yet his life and ministry is one that has set an awesome example of dedication and courage for all to remember. You can look at the Map to trace the route of their first church-planting campaign.
The Story of the Bible
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