The Philippian Jailor- Acts 16

Traditional site of Paul's prison at Philippi

Traditional site of Paul’s prison at Philippi

In verse 10, Luke speaks for the first time in the first person plural – “we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” – from which we can conclude that Luke had been preaching the gospel for a while already, as he includes himself with Paul, Silas and Timothy. So they set sail to Philippi, a leading city in Macedonia. There was no synagogue there, so on the Sabbath they found women gathered for prayer by the river. One was “Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods.” These goods would have been made from an expensive dye made from the murex shell. Note that Luke says that God opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul said, and she was baptized.

After Paul drove the demon from the slave girl in verses 16-18, her owners drug Paul and Silas before the magistrates with false accusations. In verses 20-22, they were beaten with rods and put in jail. Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns while the other prisoners listened until an earthquake shook the prison, opening the doors and freeing the bonds. The jailer, readied to kill himself as he supposed they had escaped. But Paul stopped him, and he and his family were all baptized. The magistrates sent the police the next day, telling the jailer to let them go, but Paul declared his Roman citizenship, and practically demanded an apology – which he ended up getting, as the magistrates were then afraid. They were asked to leave the city, though, so they visited and encouraged Lydia and the brothers before leaving.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.





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