Monday, May 21, 2012

Acts 17:5-9

Summary retelling of Acts 17:5-9

The Jews become jealous.  They form a mob – starting with common rabble in the streets – and attack the house of Jason while seeking Paul and his friends.  When they couldn’t find Paul, they decided to grab Jason instead.  They accuse Jason of “turning the world upside down” – in other words, teaching a way contradictory to the Roman way of living.  They specifically accuse Jason and some of the believers of declaring that there is another king instead of the emperor.  The city leaders were upset by the commotion, so they made Jason pay a security deposit that there wouldn’t be any more trouble.  They let him and the other brothers go.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
When in doubt, form a mob.  There are always people that can be incited about something.  In fact, don’t we as human beings love controversy?  We’re always looking for the latest great controversy so that we can take sides and tell other people about some great injustice being done.  It is sad, really.  Human beings form mobs so quickly and so readily just because we like the controversy and the chaos.  What’s worse is that the Jews specifically turned to disreputable people – rabble – in order to start the riot.  When we need something done that isn’t quite right, it seems like there is always someone around who is willing to do it.

Why do human beings have a natural tendency towards chaos and controversy?  Why is it so hard for human beings to treat one another with respect and rationality?

Second Thought:
When the rabble couldn’t find Paul, they settle on Jason.  Here’s another lesson in humanity.  Anger always finds a target.  If a person is angry and they cannot direct the anger where it belongs, it will get directed elsewhere.  It will get directed at people or things that do not deserve it.

Why is anger so powerful enough that we struggle to control its output?  What can we do to prevent the anger inside of us from being directed where it doesn’t belong?

Third Thought:
In the end, it all comes down to money.  Jason didn’t do anything wrong other than welcome a teacher into his home.  Yet, he has to pay a fine.  Jason isn’t even the one who started the commotion – the Jews of the city did!  But it is Jason who has to pay the fine and provide security that “it won’t happen again.”  Isn’t it sad to see the sway that money has over humanity as well?  We so often think that money can solve our problems, when it can really only cover up the problem for a time.

Why does so much of our life revolve around money?  Do you think the Bible is right to call the love of money the root of all evil?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 17:10-12
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