Daily Word

Casting out consequence | Acts 16:22-30

22 The crowd joined in an attack against them, and the chief magistrates tore their [f]robes off them and proceeded to order [g]them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 [h]and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the [i]stocks.

25 Now about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 

27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And the jailer asked for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas; 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Acts 16:22-30 (NASB) 中文


Paul and Silas are on the second missionary journey – sent by the church in Antioch. Originally Paul had intended to visit the churches he and Barnabas had started on their first trip. And to extend to some newer areas North and West. But God stopped them and directed them, via a vision, to Macedonia, modern-day Europe. In Philippi the first Europeans converted to Christ. Paul casts a demon out of a slave girl and trouble begins.

Casting out consequence

The owners of the slave girl had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten, and thrown in jail. They were treated like violent offenders and put in the most secure prison – with shackles! But how do Paul and Silas respond to this persecution? They pray and praise! Are they nuts!? They should be fearing for their lives. Or today, they’d be on social media bashing the leaders and demanding they be “canceled”. 

As they pray and praise, God sends an earthquake. Was it because they prayed? We have to surmise that there is a correlation. But no matter, God’s plan is to free them and free the jailer and his family (from sin). 

Instant conversion

The jailer, jarred (literally) from his sound sleep, quickly assesses the situation, realizes he’s done for, and prepares to commit hara-kiri. “According to the Roman law, if a prisoner escaped, the jailer who had him in charge was compelled to suffer the penalty which was to have been inflicted on the prisoner.” (bibletruthpublishers.com) But Paul yells out to stop him. And the jailer is relieved. He understands that some awesome power is at work, receives the grace of conviction of sin and begs to know how to be saved.


  • As addressed before, in our gospel sharing, who does the work? Surely we need to have a heart to share, be obedient, pray, seek opportunities, let our light shine (Matthew 5:16) and tell people. But the “heavy lifting”, the real work, is the Holy Spirit. That’s where the power lies!
  • Let’s ask the question, “Who does the work” from a different angle. Like in, who is doing the work of evangelism? Are you? Do you actively look for opportunities to develop relationships and be intentional about sharing the good news, the life-saving news? Are we sharing the only hope of forgiveness of sins, a reconciled relationship with the Lord, fulfilling our purpose in life, and eternal life?
Roman prison cell. Image from ephesusschool.org *

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