Acts 17. Forum Discussion

Paul and Silas continue their journey to share the good news of Jesus. They travel through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica.

Luke tells us in verse 2 that it was Paul’s custom to go to the Jews of the area in their synagogue. He preached to them for 3 weeks telling them that, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”

The audience that Paul was speaking to was made up of Jews, God-fearing Greeks, and several leading women. Once again jealousy leads the Jews to plot to put a stop to Paul’s efforts. Luke writes that the Jews took some wicked men from the marketplace and, “Formed a mob and set the city in an uproar.” They succeeded in stirring up the crowd. With the help of the brethren, Paul and Silas left at night and went to Berea in what is now northern Greece to continue sharing the Word.

As they did in Thessalonica, they started their outreach by heading to the synagogue to preach to the Jews. Luke writes that those in Berea were more receptive to the message than those in Thessalonica and, “Many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.” Paul and Silas were excited to share the gospel, but they were encountering many difficulties along the way. Satan will try to thwart the plans of the righteous.

The angry Jews from Thessalonica got word that Paul and Silas were now preaching in Berea, and they went there to try and stop them. Once again, they agitated and stirred up the crowds. The brethren continued to look out for Paul and sent him away to Athens and received a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible.

This appears to be an example of the apostles avoiding short-term confrontation for the greater good. Instead of continuing to be confronted by a jealous group of Jews, they left for greater opportunities in other parts of the world.

While in Athens, Paul says to those gathered, “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Paul’s message was received by some, and not by others.

God’s word prepares us for our own evangelism. We see that sometimes those reaching out to share the gospel were well received, and other times they were not. Our mission is to continue trying. We cannot control the reactions of those receiving the message, but we can make sure that the message is shared.

Jesus gives us “The Great Commission” in Mathew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen


As I read Acts, I think about why God selected Paul to be such an important apostle. He persecuted Christians. I think to the point of imprisonment, beating them, and maybe even having them put to death. Then I think that may be the point. God can use all of us, no matter our past. Paul is as good an example of any with respect to that.