(40 verses, 5:30 to read)
What I am about to READ:
- Paul and his companion are on their second missionary journey which extends the preaching of the Gospel through Asia to Macedonia.
- Here are the parts of this chapter:
- 1-5; Paul returns to Derbe and Lystra to strengthen the saints. Timothy becomes part of the group, and is circumcised.
- 6-10; The Holy Spirit drives the part west to Troas where Paul has a vision of a woman of Macedonia calling for help.
- 11-15; Luke joins Paul in Troas (note the shift in the pronouns from “they” to “we”). The company sails to Macedonia and goes to Philippi, where Lydia and her house are baptized.
- 16-24; Paul and Silas rescue a demonized girl, and are thrown in jail.
- 25-34; Paul and Silas rejoice and sing the Lord’s praises even in jail. An earthquake opens the jail doors, but Paul and Silas remain in their cell. The jailer, upon seeing this, asks what he must do to be saved. “Believe in Jesus” they preach, and he does, and that night he and all his family were baptized. The jailer invites them to his home.
- 35-40; The police arrive the next day, and asking for Paul and Silas learn that they are Roman citizens. Learning this, the police apologize, and ask them to leave the city.
- Here’s the map. Our chapter follows the purple line across the to of Asia, through the Aegean Sea to Philippi.
- We see in this chapter two examples of household baptism, an indication that Paul understood the “all nations” of Jesus in Matthew 28 and the “for your children” from Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:38-39 to include all the people in a household. This gives us great confidence when we bring our own children and babies to be baptized in the Lord’s name.
- Acts loves to show the parallels between Peter and Paul. Peter was in prison in Jerusalem, not Paul sits in a prison in Philippi. It is also wonderful to see Paul singing hymns behind bars, and for us to meditate on the fact that the earthquake made a way out of jail for Paul and Silas, and they did not take it.
- One of the things that is good for us to notice in Acts is the “we” sections. These indicate that Luke was there, travelling with Paul. We are in a “we” section here at the end of chapter 16.
- Paul and Silas are servants of the Word. They are dragged every different direction in strange ways to strange places, and in every place they find an opportunity to speak of the Lord’s kindness and preach the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a wonder to read the book of Acts and watch the Word of the Lord grow. We have that same Word, the same preaching of Jesus, and the same confidence that Jesus is our Savior.
Thoughts? Comments? Join the conversation in our facebook group here.
Pr Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO