From Acts 16-17
Sometimes doing a good thing can put you into prison.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
When Jesus was encountered by the evil spirits they knew who he was and proclaimed it to others. In response Jesus cast them out. The same happens here but with Paul instead.
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. (Acts 16.16-18)
Its strange that Paul was greatly annoyed by her constant badgering. Why would he be annoyed by her constantly saying ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation’? Isn’t it rather promoting their cause. However Paul would have been concerned that she was possessed. He casts out the spirit. Is this the first time God used Paul to perform a supernatural act?
19 But 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. (Acts 16.19-24)
The slave girls owners are now deprived of an income source and they want revenge. They know they are Jews, so they assume their ministry will involve attempting to convert the Roman citizens to Judaism and its respective customs. Paul did not do this with Gentiles (cf. Acts 15). Consequently Paul and Silas are put into prison.
Paul’s ministry brought opposition from Jews and Gentiles alike. The Jews because they felt he was perverting their faith. The Gentiles because at times he took away their income. What we learn here from Paul’s story is that if one wants to be involved in ministry. Dont be surprised if persecution comes along.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights