"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Tumult In Thessalonica (17:1-10) INTRODUCTION 1. Following their release from prison in Philippi, Paul and Silas... a. Departed from the city and made their way through Amphipolis and Apollonia b. Arriving in Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews - Ac 17:1 2. Thessalonica as a city... a. Was named in 315 B.C. after the half-sister of Alexander the Great b. That served as the capital of Macedonia (northern Greece) after 146 B.C. c. Along with Corinth, one of the two most important commercial centers in Greece -- Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary 3. Paul immediately found a synagogue of the Jews... a. As was his custom, to evangelize Jews - Ac 17:1-3; cf. Ac 9:20; 13:5,14; 14:1; 19:8 b. Where he was successful in persuading some, along with a great multitude of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women - Ac 17:4 [But as seen before (cf. Ac 13:45), Jews that were envious led a resistance against the efforts of Paul and Silas, resulting in an uproar or tumult in the city...] I. THE NATURE OF THE TUMULT A. INVOLVED EVIL MEN... 1. Stirred up by unbelieving Jews 2. Who gathered evil men in the marketplace 3. Creating a mob that set the city in an uproar 4. Attacking the house of Jason (where Paul and Silas had been staying) - Ac 17:5,7 B. LEADING TO JASON'S ARREST... 1. The mob did not find Paul and Silas at Jason's house 2. They dragged Jason and some of the brethren to the rulers (politarchs) of the city 3. The charges that the mob made - Ac 17:6-7 a. Paul and Silas: "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." b. Jason: "Jason has harbored them" c. All of them: "these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king--Jesus." - cf. Ac 16:21 4. The crowd and the rulers (politarchs) were troubled by these charges - Ac 17:8 5. Jason and the brethren with him were released - Ac 17:9 a. Only after taking (money as) security from them b. Probably with the stipulation Paul and Silas leave town [The brethren sent Paul and Silas to Berea by night (Ac 17:10). One might think such an inauspicious start bode ill for the gospel and the church in Thessalonica. Not so! Within a year or so Paul wrote his first epistle to the church at Thessalonica, where we can read about...] II. THE EFFECT OF THE TUMULT A. PAUL'S INITIAL CONCERNS... 1. He endeavored to see the Thessalonian brethren with great desire - 1Th 2:17 2. He was hindered by Satan (the security imposed by the government?) - 1Th 2:18 3. He sent Timothy from Athens to establish and encourage them - 1Th 3:1-4 4. He was concerned that his labor with might have been in vain - 1Th 3:5 B. TIMOTHY'S ENCOURAGING REPORT... 1. He brought Paul good news of their faith and love! - 1Th 3:6 2. Their memory of him was good; they wanted to see him as well! - 1Th 3:6 3. Their faith comforted Paul in his own affliction and distress! - 1Th 3:7 4. Their steadfastness in the faith gave Paul life and gratitude! - 1Th 3:8-10 C. DESPITE THE TUMULT, THE CHURCH THRIVED... 1. With work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope - 1Th 1:1-3 2. With evidence of their election by God - 1Th 1:4 3. Having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit - 1Th 1:5-6 4. Serving as examples to all believers in Macedonia, Achaia - 1Th 1:7 5. Trumpeting the Word throughout Macedonia, Achaia, everywhere! - 1Th 1:8 6. Paul could not go somewhere without their reputation preceding him! - 1Th 1:9-10 CONCLUSION 1. As Paul relates in the second chapter of 1st Thessalonians... a. His coming to them had not been in vain - 1Th 2:1 b. Despite his persecution in Philippi, the conflict in Thessalonica - 1Th 2:2 2. Why did the "Tumult In Thessalonica" fail to hinder the establishment of the church...? a. Because of Paul's conduct as a preacher of the Word - 1Th 2:3-12 b. Because of the Thessalonians' reception of the Word despite persecution - 1Th 2:13-16 Wherever faithful gospel preachers proclaim the Word to people willing to accept the Word of God, not even Satan with all his forces can prevent the establishment and spread of the church of Christ...!
Acts 9:20 (NKJV)
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.