Daily Word

What’s your MO? | Acts 17:1-9

1 Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 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. 3 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.” 4 Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.[a]

5 But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd.[b] 6 Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers[c] instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. 7 And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”

8 The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports. 9 So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

Acts 17:1-9 (NLT) 中文


Paul and Silas are on the second missionary journey. After visiting a few of the churches from the first journey, God directed them to new territory in Macedonia, modern-day Europe. God blessed their work with converts – including the jailer who guarded them (and his household) when they were thrown in prison.

On the road again

Now they’re on the road again in Macedonia. They pass Amphipolis and Apollonia (maybe there were no synagogues) and came to Thessalonica. It’s a lovely city situated on the Aegean sea. As per their MO, they found the Jewish synagogue and shared the gospel there – for three Sabbaths (3 weeks). A few Jews believed, but more Greek converts to Judaism believed. A small revival we might say.

Jealous Jews

And, following their MO, the Jews there got jealous that they lost some of their followers to this new Jewish knock-off religion. They, as usual, sought to stir up trouble to get them out. Look at what great lengths they go! They add sin to sin by getting some mobsters to go rough up Paul and Silas. But since they couldn’t find them, they grabbed Jason and his friends as substitutes.

And Paul is not unaccustomed to this. “As happened at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:45, 50), at Iconium (Acts 14:2, 5), and at Lystra (Acts 14:19) on the first missionary journey, here also Paul was opposed by a mob incited by envious people among the Jewish people.” (enduringword.com)

It’s amazing what influence the Jewish leaders had in the city – being able to convince the city council based on trumped up charges! At least the council had some manner of rule of law and let Jason et al go after they posted bond. We’ll see in the next passage it’s because they seemingly wanted to prosecute Paul and Silas.


  • We recall from earlier (Acts 16:6-10) that God re-directed Paul and Silas to Macedonia. He knew there would be suffering and persecution, but that was part of His plan. Did you ever think that a loving God would do such a thing? I’d suggest you spend more time studying His word and getting to know Him for who He is. You will not be disappointed. 
  • What is your MO? Do you make a habit of daily study of His Word (not just reading blogs or listening to podcasts but reading and studying)? Are you faithful in Christian disciplines like attending church, worship, fellowship, giving, witnessing, etc.? If you were accused, like Paul, of being a Christian, would there be enough proof to convict you?
Mafia characters. Image from pxfuel.com

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