Thursday, 9 November 2017

Acts Chapter 18 - Reactions of People.


Having completed the 31 Day Blogging Challenge last month I have decided to continue blogging on through the book of Acts but not everyday, probably 2 times a week.

We finished on Day 31  Knowing God having finished chapter 17  noting that God looks for true worship and obedience and that Christianity is not based on works but on the death & resurrection of Jesus.

So on to Acts chapter 18 today.


verses 1 - 4

Paul has come to Corinth (from Athens) which is the first time we see it mentioned in Acts.
We are then introduced to a married couple called Aquila & Priscilla who were originally from Italy but had moved here having had to leave there homeland because they were Jews.

The first thing I thought about was that Paul found people he could easily become friends with because they had two things in common

  • They were Jews
  • They had the same occupation


How do we meet people and become friends?

Exactly the same way through our jobs or through coming from the same background.

When we went to live in America from 1992 - 1995 we first met people through Fred's job there and then through the church we attended.
Then later through our daughter's school and the neighbourhood we lived in.

When we went to live in Belgium from 2004 - 2010 things were different because we were not fluent Flemish or French speakers so a lot of the time we gravitated towards British and American people but in the end had friends from many nationalities due to going to an International Church.

We probably tend to forget that Paul may not have had any contacts in Corinth to go to and it is not easy to arrive anywhere not knowing anyone and settle there.

People always have to provide for themselves and can not always be dependant on others and that is just what Paul did here.  He worked at a skilled job during the week and then on the Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and Greeks.


reasoned
adjective
  1. based on logic or good sense.

    "a reasoned judgement"   or   "a reasoned argument"
  2. well expressed, well presented, considered, sensible, intelligent


Something to note here is that Paul did not have to devote all his time to preaching, teaching or indeed studying the scriptures to be able to share about Jesus.  So neither do we, instead we just have to be willing to give up of our weekends or free time from the daily work and provision we are responsible to make for ourselves and family.

It does not say in these few verses that Aquila & Priscilla were Christians but obviously they were friendly and hospitable to Paul and willing to share work with him.



verses 5 - 11

Silas & Timothy have now rejoined Paul after having been left in Berea in Macedonia in Day 30 The Power & Destruction of Envy 

This means they were not in Athens at all and also not with Paul when he met Aquila & Priscilla and worked with them.

We now see Paul being zealous in his proclaiming of Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews but this message was not well received and it specifically states that the Jews were against Paul and blasphemed.

 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 


Paul claims he will not bother to witness to the Jews again but only to the Gentiles.

He obviously took the blasphemy very seriously.



blasphemy
noun
  1. the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.


But even with this happening the next convert we see is the ruler of the synagogue (presumably a Jew) and his household.  This reminds us of other instances of families already covered in Day 19  It's Not About Us, It's All About God  with Cornelius and  Day 26  Believe in the Right Thing  with the Phillippian jailer.

Then we also see "many of the Corinthians" believing and being baptized and they were presumably Gentiles because they were Greeks.


So even when there was opposition to God's Word being preached and the truth of the Gospel being told; God was still working and bringing people to know Him.  



Even today God is still working and bringing people to know Him.


We need to remember this and believe that

Even today when there is opposition to God's Word being preached and the truth of the Gospel being told; God will still be working and bringing people to know Him.  



If you are interested in more of the posts in this series on The Book of Acts please click on the link below and you will find a list & link to all of the posts.







1 comment:

  1. Wonderful lesson! Remembering to do our part and let God do His part is soooo important.

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