Paul, Priscilla, Aquilla, Timothy and Silas.
A team is brought together in the Greek Metropolis of Corinth and the project must begin.
“After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” Acts 18,1-11
What is the context?
- Paul travelled from Athens to Corinth.
- Priscilla and Aquila arrived from Rome, as the emperor had commanded all the Jews to leave Italy.
- Paul was fully engaged in his mandate and assignment.
- Two men, Timothy and Silas joined the team.
- Strong resistance rose.
Welcome to normal Kingdom-life.
1 Don’t react but be led by the Spirit, Acts 18,7
Paul came under great pressure because of strong opposition and even blasphemy, verbal mocking and disrespect even though he was a Jew among Jews and inside the synagogue.
2 Don’t generalize, but make your judgment, Acts 18,8
He shook his coat and spoke responsibility, but his final statement and conclusion were untimely.
3 Don’t control what God is doing, but let Him work, Acts 18,8
Paul left the synagogue because of serious turbulences,. However God was at work in spite of the tensed atmosphere, the violent environment, emotional outbreak from both parties, and words spoken carelessly and without proper consideration by a powerful man of God, an apostel.
Anyways God moves forward:
- The ruler of the synagogue and his whole family were deeply affected, came to the faith and separated themselves from the Jewish community, so to say,
- God had worked on the neighbour (he was already worshiping God) for a while and led Paul to him in spite of his strong words ‘Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’
- Many Corinthians heard, came to the faith and were baptized,
- An angel visited Paul at night and gave instructions.
4 Neither oppose nor hesitate… be God’s partner, Acts 18,X
The core of the matter is simply the following: To work with God for the purpose of establishing a base for His Kingdom in the region. That’s great perspectives, both for Corinth and later for Ephesus.
… send whole believing families, who will upgrade in their faith... like the ruler of the synagogue and his household,
… lead people to you who are closes than you might think, and He has already worked in their lives,
… create an unusual progression in people’s choices and walk and you will contribute,
… expect your ability to listen and continually pay attention,
… give you words, which you will channel to others,
… help you to differentiate issues so He has your full focus,
… protect you from turbulences which could affect you, divert your walk or harm your assignment
… let you understand that the invisible is far greater than the visible,
… establish a lasting partnership between Him and us as well as between companions:
- Paul with Aquila and Priscilla 18,2-3 in Corinth
- Paul with Timothy and Silas 18,5 in Corinth
- Paul with disciples/brothers 18,8 in Corinth
- Paul with Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus 18,18
- Aquila and Priscilla with Apollos in Ephesus 18,24
- Apollos with disciples/brothers in Corinth 18,27
Ultimately the project was a success, and the base was established.
Philip DuPont (May 2021)