Q – If you were involved in a small group Bible study, would you rather be the leader or one of the participants? Why?
We have all heard stories of those who take big risks and suffer persecution for God and the advancement of His Kingdom. Usually, those stories come from missionaries… or jungle pilots… or Bible-smugglers… etc.
But, have you ever thought about being in trouble simply because you let someone stay in your house? That’s what happened to a man named Jason in Thessalonica.
I. The Faithfulness of the Missionaries (Acts 17:1-3)
During Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey, Paul & Silas preached in Thessalonica.
For 3 Sabbath Days in a row, Paul preached the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Jewish synagogues.
II. The Fruits of the Missionaries (Acts 17:4)
Some Jews – and many Gentiles – were saved. The number of believers must have grown quickly… and one of them must have been a man named Jason. Paul & Silas would end up staying in Jason’s home as they ministered in that city. When Jason, now a new Christian, opened his home to these 2, he had no idea what that simple gesture of kindness might cost…
III. The Foes of the Missionaries (Acts 17:5-9)
– The Assault (v.5)
A jealous mob rushed into Jason’s house, where Paul & Silas were staying, in search of the missionaries.
– The Arrest (v.6a)
Unable to find Paul or Silas, the mob forced Jason before the city officials.
– The Accusations (v.6b-9)
Paul & Silas were accused of trouble-making, and Jason was accused of allowing them to stay in his home.
Paul & Silas were charged w/ treason.
Jason paid bail to await trial later (of which we do not know the outcome),,, and Paul & Silas were sneaked away to Berea, where they continued their missionary journey.
These were accused of being “trouble-makers”… “world-changers”… “difference-makers”. They were actually just acting like Christians should act! They took a world that was tired and troubled and tangled, and tried to put it right-side-up.
We see in these 3 the ingredients for making a difference in our world:
* Integrity (Acts 17:4,9)
They were honest… sincere… and showed the world around them there was a right way – a better way – in Christ.
LifeAPP: As Christians, we must live lives of integrity so the non-Christian world around us will sit up and take notice.
* Intensity (Acts 17:6b)
They were accused of “turning the world upside down“. This kind of impact doesn’t happen without intensity… focus… determination.
* Involvement (Acts 17:7,9)
“these are all… Jason and the rest…”
They were all part of spreading the gospel; some in public ways, some in private ways.
We are simply to do what God has called us to do. Our job may not seem glamorous to some, or seem to require as much sacrifice as some. But, our service to Christ – if we’re doing what God has called us to do in the way He has called us to do it – is just as important as what anyone else might do.
Like Jason, we may never know what exciting things we might get into while serving Christ!
You can read Jason’s story in Acts 17:1-9; Romans 16:21.