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The Pilgrim Path (8-9-2021)

The Pilgrim Path---Acts 17: 1 – 9 

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.


The Gospel wins friends. The Gospel creates enemies. All you must do is follow Paul on his missionary journeys---to “see” this is so. A brief stint in Thessalonica reveals that Jewish religious leaders grew jealous at the success of Paul’s ministry in the synagogue. He was just “too good” at demonstrating how Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ of God. Jesus suffered for sinners (though he had NO sin). He died on the cross for sinners---and this Jesus was resurrected after three days---proving He was the Son of God----and Savior of all who turn to Him in faith believing. Some Jews in the synagogue believed (along with serious Gentiles---and leading women).

The Jewish leaders stirred up the most contentious souls in the city against the missionaries. The great tactic---that would grasp the attention of any Roman authorities: say the people in question were at odds with the authority of Caesar! So, the home of a Christian brother (Jason) is rushed by the mob. Dragging him from his home---they pull him right to the magistrates to make outlandish charges---against the missionaries (they could not find Paul and Silas). Now, Jason must post a “bond” ---which he will apparently lose---if Paul and Silas ever return to the city (and Jason would go to jail). What was their offence? Their only offence was for attempting to turn the city “right side up.”

From Simon Kistemaker: The Jews accuse Paul and Silas, whom they cannot find, of troubling the world. In a sense, the charge that the missionaries are troubling the whole world is correct. The fact is that the gospel troubles, penetrates, and alters society in every part of the world. Moreover, the Jews perhaps had heard what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi. They insinuate that a similar incident will occur in Thessalonica. Nonetheless, from the perspective of the magistrates, the accusation at first must have appeared grossly overstated. Because the Jews are unable to present Paul and Silas, they place before the magistrates Jason, a fellow Jew and local resident, whom they accuse of aiding the missionaries.

From John Duncan: The words of men are perishable, being the words of perishable men; but…his (that is, God’s) words resemble himself---they are imperishable, immortal.

---The city of Thessalonica could be glad for the three (3) Sabbaths Paul ministered. We often do not appreciate access to a ministry until it is no longer available.

---The providence of God would raise up others to strengthen the work in Thessalonica. The LORD would move Paul and Silas to the next needy location---all in HIS time.

---The world around us will often be “bothered” with the breadth and depth of Gospel Ministry. We ask the Holy Spirit with increasing regularity to help us speak the truth in love. We are attempting---by the grace of God, to turn many souls in the world---right side up…

---The Christian---when time for allegiance must be clear---makes it clear: He has no King but Jesus Christ the LORD...


Jesus, Master, I am thine: keep me faithful, keep me near;

Let thy presence in me shine all thy homeward way to cheer.

Jesus, at thy feet I fall, O be thou my all in all.

Jesus, Master, whom I serve, though so feebly and so ill,

Strengthen hand and heart and nerve all thy bidding to fulfill.

Open thou my eyes to see all the work thou hast for me.

Lord, thou needest not, I know, service such as I can bring;

Yet I long to prove and show full allegiance to my King.

Thou an honor art to me: let me be a praise to thee.

Francis R. Havergal, 1865

Grace and Peace in Jesus, the Only Redeemer of broken and wretched souls, Pastor Jason