Apostle Paul practiced the protocol of first visiting a synagogue

Acts 17

Apostle Paul practiced the protocol of first visiting a synagogue in ever place he went in an attempt to first preach the Gospel to the Jews. He did this in Thessalonica as well.

Very often, only some of them responded positively! Thus, it was only when most of the Jews rejected the message, that he insisted on sharing it, subsequently, with the Gentiles, vs 1-4. However, it was some among these who rejected the Gospel who gathered a mob and set the city of Thessalonica in an uproar, vs 5.

While Paul and Silas were taken to be the main culprits and on not finding them, they laid hold of Jason and accused him of welcoming them as guests, vs 6-8!

Eventually, Jason was released on bail, and Paul was forced to leave the city, vs 9!
In Berea, the Jews were more noble minded, and so they diligently searched the Scriptures in order to see if what Paul was saying was true, and once convinced, many of the Jews believed along with others too, vs 10,11.

However, on hearing that Paul preached the Word of God in Berea, those Jews came there too in order to incite and disturb the crowd, vs 12, so Paul was forced to leave for Athens, with an order for Silas and Timothy to meet him there at the earliest, vs 13-15. While in Athens, Paul’s spirit was deeply troubled, on seeing the city full of idol worship, and so as was his practise, he reasoned with the Jews and Gentiles and many philosophers too, proclaiming to them about the good news and the resurrection of Jesus. He explained to them who the ‘unknown God’ whom they worshipped actually was and how He could not correctly be represented by idols of gold, silver, stone etc. since He Himself was the Creator of everything!

He also enlightened them them on the fact that if they earnestly sought after God right in the midst of the boundaries He had placed them in, they were sure to find Him revealing Himself to them, vs 16-29. It was now their choice “to repent of the wrong they did in ignorance, for then God would willing forgive them as they put their faith in Jesus, whom God appointed as Judge, by raising Him from the dead*, vs 30,31. Some scoffed, while others were open to hearing more on the subject, and yet some others believed, vs 32-34.

Thus we observe a pattern that follows as we are commissioned by the Lord Himself to fulfill the Great Commission. We go as the spirit leads and do and say as He directs. As we do so, He has given us His authority to work signs and wonders in His Name, and has promised never to leave nor forsake us. Persecution definitely shows up in various forms and at various crossroads, however, we don’t fight back in the same spirit of the persecutor, but instead, love our enemies, bless those who curse us and pray for those who persecute us, and yes, whenever necessary, we also shake the dust off our feet and leave.

Some may respond while others may not, but just as long as we are faithful to do what we see the Father doing, and persevere in love until the end, we are sure of hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.” However, if we choose the path of complacency or indifference, all we can expect is a place among the hypocrites or in the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 24:51, Matthew 25:30!

Let him who has an ear, hear. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.