Acts 17: 1-9….Tolerance.

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 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.” 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. 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. 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, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

Comment: Sent on their way, Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica and as usual found a Jewish Synagogue and set about comprehensively preaching Jesus from the scriptures. The ‘dyed in the wool’ Jews rebelled and caused a stir to get the team expelled. I’ve entitled this passage ‘tolerance’. This is an example of ‘intolerance’. Our governments are seeking to make the word ‘tolerance’ mean that we will all say and do what we like and there is no devision because there is no solid basis to truth. (Note there are some things in which you cause them to label ‘you’ as intolerant – you must not disagree with them!) Tolerance used to mean, and I think should still mean, that we hold different opinions , each thinking that they are correct, but will seek to accept each other, while continuing to hold different stances. Paul was teaching that there was another king besides Caesar. Jesus had answered that question to Pilate. He is the King of the second world in which we all live. I’ll call it the ‘eternal world’. If anyone believes in God or angels or heaven and hell then they do believe in this other world of which I, with Paul, believe that Jesus is King. On this occasion Paul and Silas left some new believers in Thessalonica, possibly with some of their ‘team’ and scooted on their way.

Prayer: Help me to define tolerance/intolerance in the way You do, Father.

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