September 13, 2019
Acts 17:5-9 (NIV)
But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
In Thessalonica we see a classic confrontation between arch enemies. Is it God vs. Satan? Jesus vs. Caesar? Yes, and yes, but this is not exactly the rivalry I reference. Or maybe I should say, these reference the rivalry behind the rivalry I reference. I would style the conflict in Thessalonica between the following parties: The Domesticated Church vs. The Awakening Movement of the Gospel.
People in the synagogue were waking up to the truth of Jesus. Remember from yesterday:
Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
Now notice how the Jews in this case attack the awakening by becoming the defenders of Caesar.
They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.
To be sure, the Jews don’t respect Caesar, but they will do whatever it takes to preserve their place in Caesar’s empire. The Empire can tolerate respectable religion but it can never accommodate the faith of Jesus. Respectable religion, what I call the domesticated church, knows its place and plays the game. The awakening movement of Jesus is a game-changer.
This classic confrontation continues to the present day. Domesticated religion abounds, infecting countless local churches with the sleep of a self-satisfied status quo. Meanwhile, the awakening movement of the gospel ever stands at the door and knocks. And when someone named Jason or Lydia ponies up the courage to open the door and welcomes Paul and Silas in, well . . . better buckle up.
Is there a Jason or Lydia in the house?
And just so we are all clear—there is another king, one called Jesus—and of his kingdom, there will be no end.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
How have you observed this classic confrontation between the domesticated church and the awakening movement of the gospel of Jesus?
For the Awakening,