June 3rd Acts, 16
1: Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3: Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. 4: And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 5: And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. 6: Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7: After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8: And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9: And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10: And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. 11: Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 12: And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13: And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14: And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15: And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
The Second Missionary Journey continues with Paul and Silas. At Lystra there was a christian called Timothy whose mother was a Jewess and a believer and whose father was Greek. He was well recommended by the christians at Lystra and Iconium. Paul invited him to accompany them but to prepare him for the work Paul had him circumcised. It’s interesting that in Timothy’s home while his mother was a Jew it seemed that his father’s culture prevailed and he had remained uncircumcised. In the missionary journeys of Paul the first point of contact would be the Jewish synagogues and if Timothy were uncircumcised then the whole mission would flounder on that point. It’s very interesting that Paul and Silas had just won the battle to insist that Gentiles should not be required to be circumcised yet here Paul circumcised Timothy for the purpose of evangelistic work among the Jews of the dispersion. Wherever they went they took the decrees of the letter from apostles and elders of Jerusalem. The effect of this judgment was that the churches had peace and were established in the faith and their numbers grew. The missionaries were constantly guided by the Holy Spirit and twice they thought of going north but were forbidden by the Spirit from going there. Eventually the Roman road led them down to the coast where they looked out over the choppy waters at Europe beyond. Paul was awake in the night no doubt seeking the Lord as to the way forward when he had a vision. (A waking dream) in which he saw a man of Macedonia asking him to come over and help them. The small missionary group took this vision to be the guidance needed for the way ahead and so they prepared for the journey across the Aegean sea. The ship they took sailed to Samothracia and then to Neapolis and from there they made their way to Philippi. Philippi was the main city of the area and it was a Roman colony. They were there a few days before they went down to the river bank to meet the Jewish women who met there on the Sabbath day for prayer. (There was no Synagogue) A woman who was a trader of special cloth which was purple heard Paul and Silas and she opened her heart to the Lord. Paul baptised her in the river. Then she insisted that Paul, Silas and Timothy should stay at her house.