Thessalonica to Berea - Riots to Searching Scripture: Acts 17:6-11
Scripture: Acts 17:6-11
In Acts 17:6-7, we learn that the uproar in Thessalonica was caused by a local mob that accused Jason, who hosted Paul and the others, of “welcoming” those who had “turned the world upside down.” We have a detailed discussion of the Roman empire of the time and how the Roman authorities looked at the Jews and others. They did not have a special category for Christians. A later writer spoke about the expulsion of Jews from Rome under Claudius as having been caused by a disturbance over a “Chrestus” which was likely his way of speaking about Christ. The preaching of Christ caused disturbances by both Jews and Gentiles. Paul himself had been part of such a disturbance at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7) and continued to attack the church until his conversion as described in Acts 9.
There are three groups: Jews, Greeks (Gentiles) and the church of God. The tumult in Thessalonica happened, the local mob said, because Jason “welcomed” (dechomai) the preachers. We spend some time showing from Luke/Acts how Luke emphasizes the fact that one’s status before God is revealed by who he or she “welcomes.” We give some examples in Luke and Acts. Some of those who would normally be outcasts welcomed Christ on His journey to Jerusalem to be rejected. Others refused.