Acts 17:10–15 (ESV)
Paul and Silas in Berea
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 But
when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the
sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.
Persecution follows the Gospel, even when the Bereans eagerly receive it. God’s people should follow the noble example of the Bereans, who studied the Scriptures daily in order to receive further truths and
to examine what they were being taught. Because the OT Scriptures also testify to Jesus Christ (Jn 5:39), searching them brings God’s blessings of salvation (Is 55:10–11).
I pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth of Your Word. May it be “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105). Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1872.
Acts 17:1–9 (ESV)
Paul and Silas in Thessalonica
17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And
Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This
Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 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. 5 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. 6 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, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees
of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security
from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
At Thessalonica, Paul and Silas continue the pattern of preaching at the synagogue, gaining converts, and experiencing harsh opposition.
The offense and foolishness of the cross (1Co 1:23) may well provoke a harsh response from the world. Yet Jesus, the Messiah, suffered, died, and rose, and “turned the world upside down.” Sinners are forgiven, the humble and poor are raised up,
and the proud and rich are brought low. The first will be last, and the last, first.
I pray: Heavenly Father, may the Good News of Jesus Christ, the King of kings, continue
to turn this world upside down. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1871.
Acts 16:25–40 (ESV)
The Philippian Jailer Converted
midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the
doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But
Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then
he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And
they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then
he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go
in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and
take us out.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they
took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.
Paul and Silas are freed from prison. The Lord brings a Philippian jailer and his family to faith. Like Paul and Silas, God’s people today can respond to mistreatment with a powerful testimony of prayer and praise to God. Like
the despairing jailer (v 27), all people are sinners who face death (Rm 3:9; 6:23). But all are saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus.
I pray: Father, assure me of the
simplicity of this good news: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (v 31). Then move me to respond with a life of worship and praise to You, whatever my earthly situation may be. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO:
Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1871.
Acts 16:16–24 (ESV)
Paul and Silas in Prison
16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed
Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to
the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are
Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates
tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having
received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Paul heals a demon-possessed girl, and as a result, he and Silas are beaten and jailed.
Believers who do God’s will, even when striving to help others, can expect mistreatment and abuse from the people and institutions of this world. However, the same name and power that freed this slave girl from demonic captivity deliver us from suffering
to eternal life.
I pray: Heavenly Father, the powers of evil still try to torment us. As we strive to do Your will, deliver us from evil, and assure us that through Christ’s
death and resurrection, the victory over evil is already won. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1870.
Acts 16:11–15 (ESV)
The Conversion of Lydia
setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this
city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One
who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and
her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
Paul begins his work in Philippi through Lydia. At
times, Christians may feel isolated from worship and fellowship. Yet, God opens the hearts of people to believe, provides others who are faithful to the Lord, and binds them together in homes and families.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for opening the door of faith to many faithful women throughout the ages—Sarah, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, and Lydia. Guide and bless women today to be equally receptive to Your Word. In the name of
our Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1869.