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Jesus' encouraged Paul’s work in Corinth

April 20, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Acts 18:1-11

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus. He had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul visited with them. 3 Because they practiced the same trade, he stayed and worked with them. They all worked with leather. 4 Every Sabbath he interacted with people in the synagogue, trying to convince both Jews and Greeks. 5 Once Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself fully to the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 When they opposed and slandered him, he shook the dust from his clothes in protest and said to them, “You are responsible for your own fates! I’m innocent! From now on I’ll go to the Gentiles!” 7 He left the synagogue and went next door to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile God-worshipper. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household came to believe in the Lord. Many Corinthians believed and were baptized after listening to Paul.
9 One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Don’t be afraid. Continue speaking. Don’t be silent. 10 I’m with you and no one who attacks you will harm you, for I have many people in this city.” 11 So he stayed there for eighteen months, teaching God’s word among them.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

On the apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he went to Corinth, a large Greek seaport known for all the vices historically typical of idle sailors. As he preached in Corinth, some synagogue members (by then inevitably) “opposed and slandered him.” But Paul heard Jesus’ voice in a night vision telling him that he had “many people” in Corinth. Paul met Aquila and Priscilla, who became dear friends and co-workers (cf. Romans 16:3-4). He ended up staying in Corinth for 18 months.

  • After people opposed and slandered Paul, he “left the synagogue.” Jesus told Paul in that night vision, “Don’t be afraid…. I’m with you.” Remarkably, “Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household came to believe in the Lord.” How does it change your outlook in difficult, scary situations to have a sense that you’re not all alone, that Jesus is with you? Is there some part of life in which you need God’s comfort and courage right now?
  • When Paul met Priscilla and Aquila, they were all far from home. He was traveling from one unfamiliar city to another. Emperor Claudius’ orders had exiled Priscilla and Aquila from their home in Rome. * Most often God works through people. How did God work through the close friendship they developed to strengthen all three people to serve Jesus more effectively?
Prayer

Loving Lord, keep building my ability to trust that you are always with me. And make me the kind of friend who can help and support other people in serving you more faithfully. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

Sometimes we subconsciously fancy ourselves as the Pontius Pilate of our lives. We run around holding court and being in charge of all the things.

Pilate was just doing his job when we read about his interaction with Jesus in the gospel (cf. John 18:28-19:12). He encountered Jesus and upon this encounter, Pilate was, well, as the kids used to say, shook.

He was unnerved by this man who calmly claimed to be the Son of God and informed him that all the authority he walked around with was merely an allowance from Someone with way more power than Pilate could fathom. This encounter with Jesus’ presence—Jesus’ words—and even Jesus’ silence, had Pilate questioning how to proceed at a job that would have been second nature to him.

Often, we live our lives with a false sense of authority, much like Pilate. We don our official attire, and we head off to preside over our tasks, calendars, families, and lives. We handle issues when things go sideways, we get things back on track and then we do it all over again.

My question to you is, at what point during you governing your day, do you allow the presence, words, and even silence of the Son of God unnerve you? At what point do you allow the Christ whose Kingdom is nothing like ours to shake you to your core?

For me it was a few weeks ago while our student band lead us in musical worship. We sang “King of Kings,” a song about the story of Christ from birth to Resurrection, to the Church that lives out Christ’s command to love God and love others. I was unnerved, I was shaken to my core that I, get to be a small part of that powerful story. In that story, I have very little authority, I simply serve the One who does. The authority that we think we have is merely an allowance from a God more powerful than we can fathom.

As you encounter Christ today, I encourage you to allow Jesus to interrupt the governance of your life. Take a moment to remember who holds all the authority, make space to reckon with the fact that Jesus’s Kingdom is vastly different than the kingdoms we fancy ourselves ruling over here on earth. It is with these thoughts and realizations, and with this awe, this reverence that we do indeed pray, God’s Kingdom come, God’s will be done, here on this earth where we attempt to control our little worlds…as it is in heaven.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* “The Roman historian Suetonius reports that Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49 CE because of conflicts over Chrestus, perhaps referring to Christus, or Christ.” (F. Scott Spencer, study note on Acts 18:2 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 254 NT.)