Wednesday after the Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Acts 17:1-15 (NKJV)
17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
Paul and Silas spent three Sabbath days in the synagogue at Thessalonica showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Our text says “some were persuaded,” but the Jews who were not persuaded became envious, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house where Paul and Silas were staying.
Opposition is always present when the truth of God’s Word is proclaimed. Dr. Luther wrote of this opposition: “In the light of the past, strife is to be expected. He who would teach Christ and confess that He is our Righteousness must soon hear that he is a dangerous man who disturbs everything. ‘These that have turned the world upside down [the Jews said about Paul and Silas, Acts 17:6-7] are come hither also…and do contrary to the decrees of Caesar.'” (Compare also Acts 24:5 and Acts 16:20.) Luther continues: “Thus people accuse Luther nowadays of being a disturber of the papacy and the Roman empire. If I were quiet, everything that strongly armed one possesses would rest in peace, and the pope would no longer persecute me. But in that way the Gospel of Christ would be obscured. However, when I speak the pope is confounded and falls. I must lose either the mortal pope or the eternal Christ, and with Him life eternal. But of two evils the lesser is to be chosen. Therefore may the earthly and mortal pope fall rather than the celestial and eternal Christ.” (from What Luther Says, p. 843).
We pray: O Lord, who never fails to help and govern those whom You do bring up in Your steadfast fear and love, make us to have a perpetual fear and love of Your holy name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.