Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus… Gallio… was a Roman senator, and brother of famous writer, Seneca. He is best known for his impartial judgment of a legal case involving Paul in Corinth.
Those against Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:6,12-17)
I. The Unbelieving Jews Abuse Paul (v.6)
II. The Unbelieving Jews Arrest Paul (v.12)
III. The Unbelieving Jews Accuse Paul (v.13-17)
They took Paul before the Roman governor, Gallio, and charged Paul with blasphemy… but Gallio refused to try the case.
Gallio was the Roman proconsul/governor of Achaia, the area of southern Greece. He was the ruling legal authority over the region; his word was law.
While Paul had been teaching in Corinth, some of the Jews banded together and brought Paul before Gallio’s court. They accused him of teaching people to worship God in ways that were contrary to the Law. This would have been a legitimate charge under Roman law, but, evidently, Gallio didn’t want to deal with it. He refused to hear the case, saying it was just a minor issue that depended on one’s interpretation of Jewish law.
After Gallio excused the people from his court, the people turned on Sosthenes… the ruler of the synagogue. The angry mob beat him in front of the court. Why Sosthenes? It is suspected he became a Christian under Paul’s teaching, just as Crispus (another synagogue ruler) had. And Sosthenes happened to be a handy whipping boy.
Gallio refused to get involved in this case, as well.
Gallio didn’t insert himself into Paul’s situation… not in that of Sosthenes that followed.
Q – Why do you think he decided to stand on the sidelines?
Q – Is that the same reason you and I so often decide to stand on the sidelines?
“I don’t want to get involved.” We hear it often. We’ve probably thought it many times.
But, there are times we MUST get involved!
You can read Gallio’s biblical story in Acts 18:6,12-17.