Today’s reading: Acts 17:1-15
Today we read of Paul’s continuing travels and his arrival in Thessalonica. Again Paul preaches to the Jews at the synagogue. This was always fertile ground for converts because they were able to understand the context of the Messiah and the Gospel. However, while this strategy often produced converts it also often produced detractors. It some ways it’s understandable that Jews that considered themselves faithful rebelled against a message that they foresaw would end their faith as they understood it. In Thessalonica this contingent seems especially stringent chasing Paul out of the city and then following him to the city of Beroea and chasing him from there as well.
What’s interesting is that in both cities the people “argued from the scriptures” and examined “the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Sometimes these verses are used to try and justify a Sola Scriptura method of interpreting the bible. However, they actually prove just the opposite. Paul was a learned Jew who studied under the great rabbis of the day. We know that as an Apostle he was certainly filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to teach the Gospel. Yet this group of Jews from Thessalonica, despite knowing the scriptures, reviewing them, and having Paul to explain them – they reach the wrong conclusion. Reviewing the scripture alone was not enough. Those that follow the teaching of an authorized representative of the Church are the ones who reach the correct conclusion and convert to Christianity.
Tomorrow: Acts 17:16-40