Daily Devotional Wednesday 13th May

by William Moody

Acts 17:1–9

Paul and Silas in Thessalonica

17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews1 were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

Footnotes

[1] 17:5 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 13

(ESV)

Paul is travelling through what today is Greece, sharing the Gospel (v1). He comes to the large city of Thessalonica where he speaks in the synagogue three Sabbaths in a row (v2).

We see here how Paul preaches (v3). He uses logical arguments based on what the Bible teaches. Paul’s ideas are not his own but are what he gathers and shares from God’s truth. Christianity is not about blind faith but based on the strong evidence of scripture.

There is a positive response from some Jews and Greeks (v4). But there was also growing opposition from some Jews who resort to very low tactics (v5-7). If they can’t win the argument they will attack the man.

We see here clearly how the Gospel divides people. Jesus warned that this would happen, even within the same families (Luke 12 v51-53).

It is important to see here how Paul and the others are described, as those who cause trouble (v6). Christians must be peace loving, but in sharing the gospel we will be viewed as trouble makers. This is because we stand against sin and falsehood and we challenge the status quo. We need to be ready for the unpopularity of this and pray for grace to be faithful.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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