Unstoppable! 'Jesus Is the Messiah' — Acts 17:1-3

Tuesday, August 27, 2024

Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was Paul's custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, "This Jesus I'm telling you about is the Messiah."

— Acts 17:1-3 NLT

Key Thought

As we have repeatedly seen, the early missionaries — whether Barnabas or Paul — began their work in the synagogues, reasoning with the faithful "children of Abraham." This was Paul's "custom" and a principle he emphasized (Romans 1:16-17). Luke told us a little more about this approach in Thessalonica: Paul went to the synagogue three consecutive Sabbaths. As a recognized rabbi, he was invited to teach. He used the Old Testament prophecies to show how Jesus fulfilled what the prophets had promised, undoubtedly referring especially to Isaiah's Servant of the Lord songs* about the Messiah's passion. Paul made clear that Jesus was this prophesied Messiah!

* See the Related Scripture Readings for both Paul's visiting the synagogues and the Servant of the Lord songs in Isaiah.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I am saddened to think that our sin and the rejection of your Son led to Jesus needing to fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah you sent as the Servant of the Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for stepping into this role while knowing what it meant for you. Strengthen my courage so that I am willing to suffer to share the Father's grace if I am called on to do so. I ask for this help in your name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 13:5, 13-15, 42, 14:1; Romans 1:16-17
  • Isaiah 42:1–4, 49:1–6, 50:4–7, 52:13–53:12

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 17:1-3 NLT — Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was Paul's custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, "This Jesus I'm telling you about is the Messiah."

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.