Acts 17-18

Paul, Silas and Timothy come to Thessalonica, and the usual happens. Enough Jews believe that the leaders get jealous. Paul goes to the Gentiles, of whom a significant number are also converted, and the Jews stir up the city rabble against Paul, forcing him out.

The Berean Jews believe, being famous for searching the Bible to discern the truth of the speaker. But the Jews from Thessalonica now do to Paul what he did to the early church, chasing them from city to city. Paul goes on to Athens, while the lower-key Silas and Timothy order the church under radar and follow Paul when they are done.

Paul can't take it in Athens, where Greek gods are everywhere. He speaks out, but doesn't seem to attack their gods as much as preach Jesus. He gets at least two converts, and others who remain interested.

Paul stays longer in Corinth than elsewhere, by God's leading, and with Jews of his same trade, apparently - tentmaking. Converting the Jews' synagogue ruler must have been a blow. The Jews try to implicate Paul with a new ruler, Gallio, but it backfires and their own new synagogue ruler is beaten - a warning not to bring frivolous lawsuits before Gallio, perhaps.

Paul heads back for Antioch, with Priscilla and Aquila in tow. He apparently keeps the Torah, though he has already argued so vociferously to the Galatians against relying upon it for one's justification, for he has taken a Nazirite vow (Numbers 6) and cuts his hair in accordance with the regulation there.

Application: we aren't all called to be an evangelist full time, and we live in a fairly Christian culture, so no heavy duty guilt trip here. But have you ever faced opposition, pressure, or hostility for believing in Jesus? Not for lifestyle practices like Sabbath observance or family life, but directly for believing in a risen Savior?

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