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Becoming Men of Steel (5 of 14)
It was a case of mistaken identity. Paul and Barnabas were sharing the Gospel, the message of Jesus and God was showing up and doing miraculous things, things like healing a crippled man. The people were so impressed by the healing of this man that they said, "The gods have come down upon us in human form" (Acts 14:11). They believed that the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes had visited them, Barnabas as Zeus and Paul as Hermes. In Greek mythology, Zeus is the "Father of Gods and men" who rules the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father rules the family. He is the god of sky and thunder. So he's Superman and Thor all wrapped up in one! Hermes is the son of Zeus. He was the messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife.
They thought that this miracle could only be attributed to "supermen," but Barnabas and Paul, mere mortals, were quick to say, "We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them" (14:15).
The qualities that made these Greeks take note of Barnabas and Paul as "supermen" were actually qualities that God worked in their lives. It was Jesus alive and working in them. Today, men (especially Christian men), fathers, are expected to be supermen, men of steel, gods in human form. But we're just men, we struggle as other men. And yet, God is developing our character, he desires to make us into men of steel, not in the sense of hardened men able to deflect bullets, cold or unfeeling, but men of steel, men of character.
Barnabas was that kind of man, he wasn't Zeus or Superman, but he was a man with "God-like" qualities, he was a man of steel. His life was one of character, it was a life that was committed to God.
Men of Sympathy and Generosity
The first time we see Barnabas is in Acts 4:36- ...
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