Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paul's Work Continues in Corinth

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18:5-11 (ESV)
 Paul’s work among the Jews was perhaps becoming too successful by the  time Silas and Timothy  arrive from Macedonia, (Thessalonica). Paul is very occupied in testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. But since he has converted many to Christianity through his preaching, those who are still Jews begin to oppose him and revile him. Paul moves his work then Titius Justus, it would seem a gentile, a Roman who lived close to the synagogue. His house will become a center of Christian worship in this town.  Corinth was basically a colony of Roman soldiers who were given land in retirement. And Titius was probably one of these himself. There is now discussion of some of those who believed. It had to be a severe blow to the moral of the Jews that even the ruler of the synagogue is converted. You can imagine how bad the reviling had to be, but then the Lord tells Paul, not to be afraid. To not be silent but to keep speaking because he is with him, and no one will attack him for there are many in the city that belong to him. One can only imagine the comfort that brought to him. I’m sure he was a bit tired by now of being attacked and beaten.

We can’t always be certain that we won’t be attacked for the faith we confess. This sort of thing happens in this world. We can be thankful for those God puts in place to protect us. Sometimes “his people” are the last people you would expect. But no matter what, we can know that he is with us, and it may not always look like it, but he is blessing our work. 

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