January 20, 2021 – Wednesday
Acts 18:7-8 NIV
7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
Paul left Athens for Corinth traveling approximately 50 miles. While there he stayed with Aquila and his wife Prisicilla. They all worked together as tentmakers, working with leather. But every Sabbath Paul was in the synagogue reasoning and trying to persuade Jew and Gentile alike that Jesus was the Messiah. Eventually Silas and Timothy arrived whereupon (v5), Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews disputed Paul’s message and were insulting and offensive, likely blaspheming Jesus.
That’s when Paul (v6), shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” When Paul shook out his clothes in protest this was his dramatic way of expressing his rejection of their rejection. It was very much like Jesus telling His disciples (Matthew 10:14), If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. This was related to the Jewish custom of returning from a visit outside of Israel, to shake the dust off one’s feet prior to entering so as not to pollute the holy land.
Paul, of course, felt his responsibility was to first bring the message of Christ to the Jew first and then to the Greek (Romans 1:16) and that is exactly what he did here. Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Justus was a Gentile and a worshipper of Yahweh, the God of Israel. Paul preached from Justus’ house, next door to the synagogue, so not only Gentiles heard his message, but also Jews who were receptive to hearing his message. It is likely due to this that Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord. Crispus and his entire household (family) believed! We might note here that Crispus was one of the very few Corinthians Paul personally baptized (1 Corinthians 1:14). Reading further, many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
The fact that many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized, is not something to simply be read and given little attention. Corinth was a large city with a temple to Aphrodite, with male and female prostitutes, not far from the synagogue. It was a city infamous for its wickedness. If one was described as having a Corinthian companion, the companion was understood to be a prostitute unless otherwise described.
Paul spent three and a half years in Corinth establishing a church there while discipling many believers. Many Corinthians heard Paul and believed and were baptized during that three and a half years. Hearing the gospel, even in such a wicked city, was important and powerful resulting in many being saved. We never know where God will use the message of salvation through His Son to save souls. People can come to believe from almost any walk of life or location. For example, men and women are saved every day while serving time in prison.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Keep us aware that Your message may be taken anywhere to anyone to save a soul or souls. If it is Your will, show us so that we may walk in your will. – In Jesus name. Amen.