Chapter Seventeen — Part One: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 05/29/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 17:1-9

1. Thessalonica.
a. Acts 17:1 NKJV — Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
b. Amphipolis was a Macedonian city located about 33 miles southwest of Philippi.
c. It was built on an island in the middle of the river Strymon where it empties into the Aegean Sea.
d. Apollonia was located about 30 miles south of Amphipolis and 30 miles west of Thessalonica.
e. Thessalonica was a prominent city, being regarded as the capital city of Macedonia for a time, whilst under the Romans.
f. It was a major port city on the Aegean Sea, located at the intersection of two major Roman roads.
g. Thessaloniki, as it is now called, is still a major city of Greece.
h. Acts 17:2 NKJV — Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
i. There was a synagogue, for many Jews lived there.
j. Paul kept his custom of going into the local synagogue on the sabbath, wherever he was.
k. For three weeks, every sabbath, he went there to reason with the Jews and preach the Gospel to them.
l. Reasoning (Greek dialegomai) — dispute; reason with; preach to; to converse; discourse with one; argue; discuss.
m. Acts 17:3 NKJV — explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
n. Paul opened up the scriptures to them, the same word used of Jesus opening the scriptures to the disciples after His resurrection.
o. He showed them and set before them the plan of salvation that had been hidden from the beginning, till Jesus came to fulfill it for all.  
p. There are four main parts to the Gospel of Salvation.
q. Jesus Christ died (1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 5:6-10; 1 Cor. 4:14-21; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9:15).
r. He was buried (1 Cor. 15:4; Mt. 26:12; Jn. 12:7; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
s. He rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:4,12; Rom. 14:9; 2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Th. 4:14).
t. He was manifested in the flesh after the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:5-8; Jn. 21:14).

2. Persuaded.
a. Acts 17:4a NKJV — And some of them were persuaded…
b. Believed (Greek peithō) — persuade; to be persuaded; to trust; to obey; have confidence; to believe; have confidence; be confident; to have faith; to listen to; yield to; comply with.
c. They were not convinced by persuasive words (1 Cor. 2:4).
d. They were convinced by the Scriptures (1 Th. 1:7).
e. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV — For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
f. Acts 17:4b NKJV — …and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
g. As usual, some of the Jews believed (were persuaded), but others not.
h. However, a very large number of the Greek proselytes believed and began to consort with (joined themselves to) Paul and Silas.
i. Also included, were several distinguished ladies from the local leading families.

3. The House of Jason.
a. Acts 17:5 NKJV — But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
b. The envious Jews found and gathered a company of “certain lewd fellows of the baser sort” (KJV).
c. These were evil men, who frequented the marketplaces, and who were usually low, mean, and vulgar hucksters; rowdy; petty traffickers; idlers; loungers; a common sort of person.
d. These religious Jews used them to stir up the rest of the city into an uproar against the apostles.
e. The type of person, who stirs up others to do their dirty work for them, is one who lacks character and is void of integrity.
f. Remember, all persecution against the Gospel, and its agents, is of demonic origin.
g. Acts 17:6 NKJV — But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.
h. The apostles at been staying at Jason’s house but were not there at that time.
i. Illegally, without a warrant, nor just cause, the crowd searched Jason’s house and dragged him, and some brethren they found there, to the rulers of the city.
j. It was not the preachers of the Gospel who caused trouble and “turned the world upside down,” but rather, it was those who resisted the Gospel.
k. The preachers of the Gospel, by the power of God, were turning the world the right side up!
l. Acts 17:7 NKJV — Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king — Jesus.”
m. Under Caesar, no one was allowed to take the title of “king.”
n. Jesus Christ is King, but of a Heavenly Kingdom, not an earthly one.
o. These hypocritical Jews, who supposedly believed in the one true God, and who did not abide by the rules of Rome in their own worship, now brought accusations against the apostles for preaching Jesus.
p. They, who had no respect for the beliefs of Rome, now called on its rulers to judge and condemn the apostles.
q. Acts 17:8 NKJV — And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things.
r. They caused these Gentiles to be stirred up, troubled, agitated, and distressed, when they heard these serious accusations.
s. Acts 17:9 NKJV — So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
t. The security they took from Jason, was most likely a type of bail, or likely a large fine.
u. They had no right to treat Jason this way, but vented their anger and frustration on him, in place of the apostles.