Acts 18:12-23 – December 17, 2006

December 18, 2006 at 1:05 am 1 comment

JEWISH LEADERS OPPOSE THE GOSPEL (verses 12-17) and PAUL RETURNS TO ANTIOCH (verses 18-23)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Who is Gallio in verse 12?

Clues) Think about when Jesus was put before Pontius Pilate.

Discussion) Gallio was the proconsul at Achaia. This means that he was the governor and in the old Roman culture he administered the law in cases that could not be settled out of court. If the Jewish people could not settle a case, they then brought the case before the proconsul of the region.

It was pointed out that in verse 14, Paul is ready to speak on his own behalf, but Gallio speaks and says that he wants no part of this trial, since Paul did not break a law. It was mentioned that the Lord will intercede on our behalf, when He deems fit and necessary, so that we need not say a word. We see that Sosthenes is beat in verse 17, but Gallio would not help him. Similarly, Pontius Pilate wanted nothing to do with the the trial of Jesus, but Pilate caved in under pressure.

Q2) Who is Sosthenes in verse 17?

Clues) Read I Corinthians 1:1 – this is a tough question. It may not be apparent at first.

Discussion) Sosthenes was the ruler of the synagogue (therefore a high ranking Jew) who was against Paul in the trial. He was beat in verse 17 since he could not get Gallio convinced that Paul was doing wrong. In I Corinthians 1:1, Paul mentions Sosthenes. Though we do not know if it is the same person as here in Acts, if it is, there is an amazing love that is shown by Paul and the Corinthians towards the prosecuting attorney against Paul. Though Sosthenes was trying to prosecute Paul to have him thrown in prison or beat, later he is told about Jesus and turns to him, since Paul calls him a brother in I Corinthians. AMAZING the type of love that is shown.

Q3) Why did Peter have his head shaved in verse 18? If it was a vow, explain it.

Clues) This was the trick question. It was Paul that had his head shaved and not Peter.

Discussion) This is a living proof that Paul not only talked the talk but walked the walk of Christianity. He states that we should be a Jew to the Jew and a Greek to the Greek. While he was on this second missionary trip he let his hair grow long so he would be recognized by the Greeks as one of them. When he sailed for Syria, he was wanting to go back to Jerusalem, so he shaved his head and took the Nazarite vow, thereby showing that he was going to be a Jew to the Jews. This is part of meeting people where they are at, which is what Jesus did and does to each one of us.

Q4) Why did Paul go to the synagogue in Ephesus, in verse 19, after what he said in verse 6? Isn’t this contradictory?

Clues) Look very carefully at verse 6.

Discussion) Paul was talking to the Corinthian Jews in verse 6 and not all Jews. The Corinthian Jews blaphemed and Paul wanted no part of that. When he arrived at Ephesus, he headed straight to the synagogue, which was his normal mode of operation when going somewhere for the first time.

Q5) In verse 21, why does Paul say he will return again if God will (FYI – deo volente – Latin – God willing)?

Clues) Think back about all of the things that Paul has gone through.

Dicussion) This is the first time that the Bible states Paul had ever stated this. Paul might have been showing his human side here that he knew he would be imprisoned again or beat again for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, he is in total reliance on the Holy Spirit and therefore showing that if the Holy Spirit allows him to come back to Ephesus that he will.

We mentioned here that in I Corinthians, Paul mentions not to go after him or Apollos or John. That might have been written in direct correlation of the people here begging him to stay at Ephesus. In I Corinthians, Paul encourages and exhorts the Christian to have a deeper relationship with Jesus and not follow a man.

Q6) Why do you suppose Paul went all over Phrygia and Galatia strengthening the disciples?

Clues) We talked about this earlier. What did he always do the first time in a city then later on.

Discussion) Whenever Paul first visited a city or a region it was for evangelizing purposes and to start a church. The next time(s) that he visited that city or region it was to strengthen those in the church and have them go through discipleship. Paul figured that after the first time, it was the duty of the new convert in that city to tell others about Jesus.

CHALLENGE: Read II Thessalonians, which Paul wrote in Corinth while he was there for 18 months (in verse 11). What questions did those in Thessalonica have for Paul after reading his first letter?

Discussion) The questions that the Thessalonians had for Paul where: 1) what to do in times of persecution, 2) discerning the times and the end times, 3) encouragment, and 4) praying for others. He also wrapped up that not only are we to anxiously await the appearing of Jesus, but that every believer has work and some ministry to do.

What places did Paul go on his second journey and his third journey? (The second journey ends part way through verse 23 and the third journey starts in the center of verse 23)?pauls-second-journey.gif

Verse 19 – Cenchrea – number 19 on map (second journey)

Verse 20 – Ephesus – number 20 on map (second journey)

Verse 22 – Caesarea – number 21 on map (second journey)

Verse 22 – Antioch – number 22 on map (second journey)

pauls-third-journey.gif

Verse 23 – Antioch – number 1 on map (third journey)

Verse 23 – Galatia – number 2 on map (third journey)

Verse 23 – Phrygia – number 3 on map (third journey)

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 18:1-11 – December 10, 2006 Acts 18:25-19:7 – December 24, 2006

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Robert Moss  |  December 29, 2006 at 6:10 am

    Thank you.

    Reply

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