- Acts 17:1-5
- Acts 17:1 (KJB)
- Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to
Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
- So Paul and Silas left the house of Lydia in Philippi and they proceeded
west to Amphipolis which was about 22 miles (35 km) west of Philippi. From
there continued west to Apollonia which was also about 22 miles (35 km) from
Amphipolis. From Apollonia they had arrived in Thessalonica which was about
40 miles (64 km). All of this travel was on the Egnatian Way. When they
arrived in Thessalonica, they had found a Jewish synagogue there. Their
total trip was about 100 miles from Philippi to Thessalonica.
- Acts 17:2 (KJB)
- And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days
reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
- Reasoned - Discussed or disputed
- Whenever Paul went to a city which had a synagogue of the Jews, he would
always go there first and as a visiting Rabbi, he would be given the respect
by being told to deliver a message. Apparently, the members of this
synagogue were not to quick to judge because they allowed him to come back
for three Sabbath days to reason with them from the Hebrew Scriptures. This
verse contains a very important principle. Today we have all kinds of
debates and many times the source for the debate material is some kind of
science or other worldly discipline. If you notice, it Paul had used the
Scriptures to reason with them and not some commentary. How many times have
you discussed something with someone and heard, “My pastor says” or “I read
a book by….. And he says?” If we are going to be ambassadors for Heaven,
then we need to use the material which came from Heaven, which is the
Scriptures, and then the Holy Spirit will either open their eyes or let them
stay in darkness.
- Acts 17:3 (KJB)
- Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered,
and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you,
- Opening - Expounding or explaining
- Alleging - Place before, point out, or demonstrate
- The Jews and the believing Gentiles in the synagogue believed in a
Messiah and knew that he was to come to Israel. Paul capitalized upon their
anticipatory belief by immediately speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul had expounded the Scriptures and no doubt the prophetic ones like
Isaiah 53 where it speaks about the suffering of Messiah. Then as he
expounded these Scriptures, he laid it all out for them which a good teacher
does. A good teacher takes a complex subject and simplifies it for his
audience. Paul teaches them that the Lord Jesus had to suffer because it was
for the sins of His people that He died for and once that sacrifice was
complete and He was dead, He was laid in the tomb. He arose from the dead on
the third day which meant God the Father gave his approval to the sacrifice.
He states that all of this was done by Jesus and that the one he is
preaching about is the Christ or the Messiah. All things were fulfilled by
Him according to the Scriptures.
- Acts 17:4 (KJB)
- And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and
of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
- Consorted - Joined themselves
- This verse is not giving us a single event on one day but over a period
of several months. It is like a summary of their ministry in Thessalonica.
It states that a great multitude had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not
only did a number of prominent Greek men believe but also their wives had
believed. (1 Th 2:2 KJV) But even after that we had suffered
before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold
in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
Paul did not allow what happened to them at Philippi affect their ministry
in Thessalonica. He knew that it was a different place and a different
crowd. God would take care of them in every situation as He proved that in
Philippi. As the verse states, Paul had spoken very boldly to the
Thessalonians and as a result of the bold proclamation of the Gospel, many
had believed. They were very gentle among these new believers but were also
firm in their proclamation of truth.
- Acts 17:5 (KJB)
- But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain
lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and
set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought
to bring them out to the people.
- Lewd - Wicked, evil, or depraved
- Baser sort - Idlers, or those who frequent the marketplace
- Some of the Jews who lived there did not believe and it shows you that
no matter how strongly the Gospel is preached nor how many believe can
change one who is not the Elect of God. They will remain with a hard heart.
These unsaved Jews were envious at the amount of people who were believing
the Gospel. Many of them probably had left the synagogue and that meant the
donations would be down. So the Jews, in order to create a mob, took to
themselves some wicked men and those who were idlers and lurked around the
marketplace, like those who refuse to work today who just hang around on
street corners. As they brought these men into a crowd, they began to start
whipping up the city into a frenzy against the Gospel and eventually against
Paul and his company. The mob then moved on the house of Jason. He was no
doubt a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and this mob was so violent that
they would go into a house and pull the people out. They had hoped that Paul
and Silas would have been in the house but they were not there. Normally the
Jews would have nothing to do with Gentiles unless it would help their cause
as in this instance. It does not take much for those who lead a mob to get
what they want from the mob. So they apprehended Jason and his household and
brought them out to the mob.