January 15, 2021 – Friday
Acts 17:1-4 NIV
1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.
4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
The verses above are not the verses for today but are provided to introduce and make sense of the verses for today which now follow. 5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
What were the other Jews jealous of? Number one has to be Paul’s explaining and proving the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. Number two would be that Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. Cannot have people believing something they disapproved of especially if a large number are believing it as occurred here. Their reaction to all of this was to form a mob and start a riot in the city. Of course that was not enough to satisfy them so they went searching for Paul and Silas. When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials. They were going to do their best to humiliate and punish those who did not believe as they thought they should believe. They even shouted various lies. Some of the lies were, These men [Paul and Silas] who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here. Of course, they wanted Jason punished for supporting them and letting them stay at his home. Then another lie stating Jason and all the believers are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus. This was obviously untrue as they were not claiming or saying Jesus was a king or Caesar, but the Messiah, the Christ, even the risen Christ. No decrees were being defied.
As hoped, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. Goal accomplished, believers were scorned, humiliated, and punished by being forced to post bail. And for what? For believing the truth about Jesus the Messiah, the risen Christ. Jesus warned about this several times. Matthew 10:22, You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:9, Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. John 15:8, If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.
Bottom line: We know the truth about who Jesus is and we need to always stand on that truth no matter what our culture has to say. I have even said if people want to be a rebel nowadays, there is no better way than to learn who Jesus is and accept His grace while making Him your Lord and Savior. You may be hated for your belief, but you will have knowledge of eternal security.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Please grant me the strength to stand firm in heart felt belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Help me to remain faithful to what I know is true, that Jesus died for my sins and the sins of the world. – In Jesus name. Amen.