Daily Word

Won’t be fooled | Acts 18:12-17

12 But when Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. 13 They accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.”

14 But just as Paul started to make his defense, Gallio turned to Paul’s accusers and said, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case involving some wrongdoing or a serious crime, I would have a reason to accept your case. 15 But since it is merely a question of words and names and your Jewish law, take care of it yourselves. I refuse to judge such matters.” 16 And he threw them out of the courtroom.

17 The crowd[c] then grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right there in the courtroom. But Gallio paid no attention.

Acts 18:12-17 (NLT) 中文


Paul and Silas are in Corinth and finishing up the 2nd missionary journey. Everywhere he went, Paul shared the good news in the synagogue to the Jews and gentile converts to Judaism. Usually, it lasted a while then he got kicked out. Same here…

At it again

The jealous Jews are at it again. They vehemently oppose Paul and try every way to get rid of him. Since they have no power to force him to leave, they need to manufacture a reason to get the governor involved. They figure if they mention the word “law” that will legitimize their accusation and require his attention to the matter. 

Won’t be fooled

But Gallio won’t be fooled. He knows the place of government is NOT to get involved in religion, but on maintaining peace, security and rule of law. If he would have gotten involved, that could have given other governors the same responsibility. This would have caused trouble for Paul in other Roman areas and the spread of the gospel. “A proconsul was the governor of a Roman province, and his legal decisions set precedent for the other proconsuls throughout the empire. Consequently Gallio’s decision in Paul’s case affected the treatment that Christians would receive throughout the Roman world.” (planobiblechapel.org)

So, the plan of the Jews was foiled. And it didn’t just affect Corinth. “Gallio’s verdict effectively made Christianity legitimate in the Roman Empire.”  (planobiblechapel.org)

What about Crispus?

You may wonder, as I did when I read it, “What about Crispus? Isn’t he the leader of the synagogue (verse 8)?” It’s possible that after Crispus followed Christ he was replaced as ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:8). Or Sosthenes was co-leader. Based on 1 Corinthians 1:1, it is possible Sosthenes also became a believer later. But poor Sosthenes, he got beat up by what appear to be the Roman onlookers at the trial.


  • How often do we pray for leaders over us? From managers at work or teachers to pastors and elders to government officials. In his letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Paul tells us to pray for leaders over us. And in Romans 13:1-7 we’re also told to submit to them.
  • Let’s not underestimate the power of God to change people – even the least likely. Paul is the quintessential example. But there are others in your life you can pray for and share the good news with. Ask God to give you grace and favor.
Court jester fool. Image from pxfuel.com

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