GOSPEL MEDITATION #51
Paul & Silas in Thessalonica-Paul & Silas in Berea
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Paul, Silas, and company in Europe now, just having, due to necessity, left Philippi and travel on to Thessalonica some 100 miles away, and is the capital city of Macedonia, this in 51 AD.
- Here is a fairly large Jewish population and there is a synagogue where the missionaries spend several weeks conversing in the synagogue showing from the Hebrew Scripture that the Messiah must both suffer death and be raised from the dead. And this Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth.
- This would be good news to some, and the worst message to others. Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 captures the dilemma his hearers would experience.
- Some or these react when faced with the apostles’ message and stir up trouble; not an unusual occurrence. Here now is found the famous phrase, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”
- Apparently one of the early converts is Jason, a prominent citizen who is pressured to send the missionaries away.
- The “brothers”—meaning the church that was forming there— send Paul and Silas away, by night, to Berea, some 60 miles away. Upon arrival they to into the Jewish synagogue and proclaim the Gospel message. (see Romans 1:16).
- Here now there is an altogether different response; these people “received the word with all eagerness” and they did so by examining their Scriptures.
- But trouble arose by way of their opponents from Thessalonica, after hearing about what was taking place. Paul is sent off to Athens. Silas and Timothy remain in Berea.