AM June 6th Acts 18

June 6th  

Acts,  18


1: After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2: And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3: And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4: And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 5: And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 6: And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 7: And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. 8: And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. 9: Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 10: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. 11: And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12: And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, 13: Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. 14: And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: 15: But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. 16: And he drave them from the judgment seat. 17: Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.

Paul moved on to Corinth. Corinth was a city poised between two great seas and so it was full of every nation and every type of immorality and religion. People stopped at Corinth on their journeys and so the city was always full of passing trade and travellers. In the ancient world when one wanted to describe some of the very worst sexual behaviour they called it ‘doing a Corinthian’. Paul arrived and made contact with the Jews at the Synagogue. He found Aquila and Pricilla who had recently been expelled from Rome in one of Claudius’ purges. Aquila was also a tent maker so Paul was pleased to meet him and they worked together. Paul reasoned in the Synagogue every Sabbath day. Paul managed under the hand of God to make some progress. When Timothy and Silas arrived Paul was urged by the Spirit to testify to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. However when the Jews contradicted themselves and blasphemed Christ he shook his raiment and turned from them saying on your heads be the judgment of God l will now go to the Gentiles. This was equivalent to the shaking off the dust of his feet which the rest of the apostles did whenever they and Christ were rejected. This shows that Pauls ministry as an apostle was directly linked to the preaching of the Gospel to the Diaspora. (Often people think that Paul just preached to Gemtiles but this is incorrect Paul as an apostle always preached to the Jews first.) Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of a proselyte called Justus. The Gospel had however struck home because the Chief Rabbi Crispus had been converted along with his household and many other people of Corinth believed and were baptised. Paul was justifiably afraid wondering where his ministry might lead and if he would suffer persecution but an angel of the Lord appear to him in a waking dream saying Don’t be afraid but speak and do not hold back because l am with you and no one will hurt you and that God has many people in the city. Paul remained there for six months teaching the word of God to the believers. However eventually when there was a change of governor the Jews rebelled against Paul and brought him to the court accusing him of breaking the law. Paul would have defended himself but Gallio refused to judge matters of Jewish religion. The Greeks took Sosthenes and beat him but Gallio refused to have anything to do with it. He probably knew that Paul was a Roman and that he was not accused of any ordinary crime.

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