1st May 2020

The City Rulers

“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. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.’ And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.”
Acts 17:6-9 (NKJV)

Paul and Silas and the new Christians in Thessalonica found themselves in a desperate situation. The leading Jews had turned against them out of jealousy and they stirred up a mob to cause an uproar within the city. The intent was to find Paul and Silas, but when they could not do so, they dragged Jason and some other brethren before the rulers of the city.

A couple of centuries ago scholars wondered who these city rulers were because Luke uses a Greek word that is found only here in Acts 17, and that was not known in other Greek literature of New Testament times. Since then archaeology has shown that Luke’s use of the term was an historically accurate reference and thus underlines for us that this part of the Bible is authentic in its settings.

The word Luke used for the ruler of the city is transliterated as “politarch”. In 1835 it was discovered on an arch just outside modern Saloniki, the site of ancient Thessalonica. The arch is now in the British Museum, and, since it was found, sixteen other inscriptions bearing the same word have been discovered. This confirms for us that Luke wrote in an informed way and it gives weight to his description of events in Acts 17.

But what happened to the believers in Thessalonica? Did the Jews and their mob succeed? To find out more why not join us for our weekly sermon tomorrow at 11am? Join us by linking in at www.gracecom.church

Heavenly Father, thank you for the pioneers of the early Christian church, and for the inspiration we find when we read their stories. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

*Note that due to the coronavirus lockdown, Services are suspended for the time being. Contact is still as below. For live-streaming Sermons and Bible Studies go to our UK website www.gracecom.church

About the Author:
James Henderson is an Elder and is the Superintendent for Grace Communion International in Europe.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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