Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Acts 17:13-15

Summary retelling of Acts 17:13-15

The Jews in Thessalonica hear about what Paul is doing in Berea and they come to trouble him and his friends.  The people in Berea send Paul on to his next destination, but Silas and Timothy were able to remain behind.  Paul came to Athens and sent his traveling companions from Berea back to their home with a message for Silas and Timothy to come as soon as they are able.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Trouble finds good.  This is why Paul says in the end of his letter to Galatians, “Do not grow weary in doing what is right.”  When people are angry enough at us to disrupt our life, they will often seek out opportunities to do so.  Even though Paul had moved on and was no longer a part of Thessalonica, he still finds himself under persecution.

Why do people feel it necessary to get involved in the affairs of others just to cause problems?

Second Thought:
Keep in mind that from the Thessalonian Jews’ perspective, they probably were doing what they were doing under the guise of preventing bad theology from being taught.  They probably were coming to Berea to keep Paul from leading their “brothers and sisters astray.”  If God had directed them to do so, this would be noble.  Here, however, it just gets in the way.

What steps can we take to avoid doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons?  How easy is it to think we have the right course of action but find out after the fact that we were only pursuing our own agenda and not God’s agenda?

Third Thought:
Silas and Timothy are able to stay behind.  Only Paul is the one that has to leave Berea.  This likely tells us that the Thessalonian attack was personal, not just “keeping keeping Christianity from being taught.”  If the Jews had actually come to refute Christianity, Silas and Timothy would have needed to leave as well.  The fact that only Paul has to go really tells us that the Thessalonian Jews just wanted to make Paul’s life difficult.  As spiritual leaders, we will take the brunt of the attacks when they come our way.

What can we do as we become more spiritual to prepare ourselves for when we are attacked?  What can we do to help prepare the people under us for when we are attacked?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 17:16-21
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