a town of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor, in a wild district and among a rude population
Here Paul preached the gospel after he had been driven by persecution from Iconium (Acts 14:2-7). Here also he healed a lame man (8), and thus so impressed the ignorant and superstitious people that they took him for Mercury, because he was the “chief speaker,” and his companion Barnabas for Jupiter, probably in consequence of his stately, venerable appearance; and were proceeding to offer sacrifices to them (13), when Paul earnestly addressed them and turned their attention to the true source of all blessings. But soon after, through the influence of the Jews from Antioch in Pisidia and Iconium, they stoned Paul and left him for dead (14:19). On recovering, Paul left for Derbe; but soon returned again, through Lystra, encouraging the disciples there to steadfastness. He in all likelihood visited this city again on his third missionary tour (Acts 18:23). Timothy, who was probably born here (2 Tim. 3:10, 11), was no doubt one of those who were on this occasion witnesses of Paul’s persecution and his courage in Lystra.