Acts 17:1-15    Thessalonica – Berea     (Second Missionary Journey continued)

From Philippi to Thessalonica

1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ." 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

 

Trouble from unbelieving Jews

5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king--Jesus." 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

 

On to Berea

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

 

Trouble by Jews from Thessalonica – Paul taken to Athens – Silas and Timothy remain

13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.     NKJV

 

Facts Revealed:

From Philippi to Thessalonica

V    Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.    [Acts 17:1]

²   After the conversion of the jailer and his household, Paul and Silas were released from prison and departed from Philippi.    [Acts 16:16-40]

²   Traveling south west through Macedonia from Philippi they came to Amphipolis about 30 miles from Philippi, and Apollonia where they did not stay because of a lack of Jews and Jewish Synagogue.

²   Continuing on westward through Macedonia they came to Thessalonica where they found a Jewish Synagogue.

V    Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ (Messiah) had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ (Messiah)."  And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.    [Acts 17:2-4]

²   Paul still has a heart to take the Gospel message to the Jews first as he travels through foreign countries.

²   In Thessalonica they found a Jewish Synagogue, so Paul, as his custom was, went to the Synagogue on the Sabbaths to give them the message of God's Salvation plan through their Messiah Jesus.

²   Paul's approach in teaching about the Jewish Messiah was to use Scriptures Jews are familiar with.

²   Using Jewish Scriptures, Paul explained and demonstrated that the Jewish Messiah had to suffer, die, and rise again from the dead.

²   Then Paul said, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Messiah."

²   Some of the Jews were persuaded to believe that Jesus is indeed the Messiah of Israel.

²   A great multitude of devout God fearing Greeks, and a great number of leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

Trouble from unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica

V    But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.  But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.  Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king--Jesus."  And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things.  So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. .    [Acts 17:5-9]

²   The unbelieving Jews, could not find people from the Synagogue who had heard the Gospel message from Paul and Silas that were willing to join them to attack Paul and Silas, so they went to the market place with false testimony and incited a riot from there.

²   Obviously in the Synagogue, they had been unable to refute the evidence of Scripture presented by Paul and Silas.

²   Their opposition was not even because of their zeal for the Jewish traditions, but only because of their envy, due to the fact that Paul and Silas had been effective in persuading such a great multitude with their message of Salvation in Messiah Jesus.

³   Envy is one of the works of the flesh, not of the Spirit.    [Galatians 5:19-21, Titus 3:3, James 3:14-15]

²   They led the mob to Jason's house and searched for Paul and Silas, but failed to find them.

²   They dragged Jason and some of the brethren (believers) to the city rulers.

²   Their accusation was:

³   These who have turned the world upside down have come here also.

³   Jason has harbored them.

³   These are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.

²   The crowd and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard the accusations.

²   After taking security from Jason and the others with him, the rulers of the city let them go.

On to Berea

V    Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.  Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.    [Acts 17:10-12]

²   To escape the threat from unbelieving Jews at Thessalonica, the brethren sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea.

²   Paul and Silas went into the Berean Synagogue of the Jews as was their custom, and demonstrated from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel.

²   The Jews of Berea were more fair minded than the Jews of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with open minds, and daily confirmed the message by searching the Scriptures on their own.

²   Because the message was confirmable by the Jewish Scriptures, many of them believed, as well as many of the Greeks, prominent men and women.

Trouble by Jews from Thessalonica – Paul taken to Athens – Silas and Timothy remain in Berea

V    But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds.  Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there.  So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.     [Acts 17:13-15]

²   The unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica, encouraged by their success at driving Paul and Silas from Thessalonica, when they heard that the Gospel was preached in the Jewish Synagogue of Berea, came to Berea and stirred up the crowds as they had done in Thessalonica.

²   The Berean brethren sent Paul away to Athens, while Silas and Timothy remained in Berea.

²   Paul sent word back to Berea with his command for Silas and Timothy to come to him in Athens as soon as possible.

²   Athens is the capital of the Greek state of Attica, the cultural center of Grecian refinement and philosophy.