Project 119: Acts 17:1-9

 |  Project 119  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

When Herod first heard of Jesus’ birth he was alarmed because the wise men told him they were looking for the one who had been born king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2-3). Herod was no doubt upset because there can only be one king in any domain. Herod was understandably worried to hear one had been born who might usurp his authority.

In Acts 17:7, the crowds who have gathered to oppose Paul and Silas (and those who have believed their message) claimed that these men were acting against the decree of Caesar by saying that there was another king named Jesus. And, though they erroneously charged these believers with insurrection, they correctly understood that there can only be one king. If the early Christians lauded Jesus as king, there would no doubt be times when their allegiance to Jesus would require them to be out of step with the decrees of Caesar.

We obviously do not have a king in America, but we still find ourselves in positions where our allegiance to Jesus will cause us to be out of step with the prevailing powers of our day. How might your loyalty to Jesus cause you to be different from those who are not followers of Christ?

Acts 17:1-9 (ESV):

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.