Unstoppable! 'Turmoil Leads to Travel' — Acts 17:8-10

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The people of [Thessalonica], as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports [that Paul and Silas were disturbing the city and saying treasonous things]. So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea.

— Acts 17:8-10 NLT

Key Thought

Jason and other believers posted bond not only to be released from custody but also to ensure Paul and Silas would leave and the trouble associated with them would die down.* Berea was 50 miles (80 km) west and a little south of Thessalonica on the major Roman road called the Ignatian Way. Paul, Silas, and Timothy wanted to be where the Spirit was directing them.** Part of that Spirit-led direction involved being forced out of some cities and blocked from visiting others (cf. Acts 16:6-10). The early missionaries sharing the Good News of Jesus were undeterred by such difficulties, rather choosing to see them as God's opportunities for new efforts (Romans 8:28-29). Don't you think that our approach to life, mission, and ministry should follow their examples?!

* Paul speaks about his inability to return in 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18. The Greek word he chose, ap-orphan-isthentes ("were separated" in the NLT), is best translated by the NIV's "were orphaned by being separated," and this strong Greek word fits the loving context of 1 Thessalonians chapter 2.

** Timothy hasn't been mentioned after Acts 16:1-3, but Acts 17:14 shows that he was with Paul and Silas in Berea, and 1 Thessalonians mentions Timothy being present and known by the church in Thessalonica.

Today's Prayer

Dear Father, please forgive me for whining about my circumstances. When I look at all that Paul and his missionary team endured sharing the message of Jesus, I am embarrassed by my lack of passion for Jesus' mission and my wimpy attitude toward my minor hardships. Open my eyes to what you are doing in my life as the Spirit directs me to the people and places you want me to serve. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 1:16-23, Philippians 4:10-13
  • Acts 1:1-11; Romans 8:28-29

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 17:8-10 NLT — The people of [Thessalonica], as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports [that Paul and Silas were disturbing the city and saying treasonous things]. So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea.

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.