The Marvelous Macedonia Mission
We meet Timothy in Chapter 16. His mother is a Jewish believer, and his father is Greek. Paul asks him to accompany him on his mission and circumcises him “because of the Jews in that place.” See the key talking point below.
Forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach in Asia and Bithynia, Paul receives a vision of a man urging them to go to Macedonia. After arriving, we meet Lydia, a Jewish woman whose heart God opened “to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” She and her family are saved.
While staying there, Paul grows weary of a possessed slave girl who has been following them around shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” v.17 Paul casts out this “spirit of divination” which has been making her master a “great deal of money” telling fortunes. This sparks an uproar that leads to a public flogging and imprisonment by which the jailer and his whole family are baptized and saved!
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God… a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up…he drew his sword…to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” v.25-28
Let’s Talk About It
Why Circumcise Timothy?
Right after coming to the consensus that believers didn’t have to be circumcised, Paul circumcises a believer! Paul seemed to be greatly opposed to the idea that it should be required of them, yet he put Timothy through that because of the local Jews. This is a testament to honoring peace, and suffering for Christ. The reward of placating the Jews that they may hear the message of Christ unhindered, was too great to risk.
Would you hear God’s instructions?
The Holy Spirit gave Paul specific instructions on where and where not to go. If you desire a Holy Spirit empowered walk with God, it requires a devotion to prayer and fasting to SEEK God for direction, WAIT for instruction, RECOGNIZE His voice, and then OBEDIENTLY follow it.