Help Wanted

KEY VERSE: “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them.” —Acts 16:10, New International Version

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:9, 10, 13-15, 25-34

AFTER THE CONFERENCE in Jerusalem, Paul suggested to Barnabas that they visit the brethren they had found on their first journey, and deliver the letter sent from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning the obligations Gentile converts had concerning the Mosaic Law. Barnabas thought well of the suggestion, and wanted to take John Mark with them. Paul did not think it was good to do so, and the contention between them became so strong that they decided to separate. Surely this was directed by God so more territory would be covered in the work.

After visiting all the churches in Syria and Cilicia, Paul and Silas arrived at Derbe, then Lystra—the furthest point reached on their first journey. They visited the family of Timothy again, and found that he had grown to manhood, and was active in serving the brethren. So they invited him to join them on their journey.

Having delivered the letters from the apostles in Jerusalem to the Christian churches in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia—all cities in Galatia—they wanted to visit new territories in Asia and Bithynia. But, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they were forbidden to go there. At that time they did not know there was an urgent need for them to go into still more far distant lands. But this was made clear when Paul reached the port city of Troas, and saw in a vision a man of Macedonia, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us. After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them.” (Acts 16:10, NIV) We note that Luke, who was the author of the Book of Acts, switched at this point from using the third person (they) in describing events, to the first person (we), indicating that he had joined Paul’s party, to travel with them.

They sailed from Troas to Macedonia, and went to Philippi—a principal city of Macedonia. There was no synagogue in Philippi, but the Jews of that city congregated by the river—a natural amphitheater—to worship. On the Sabbath, Paul and his companions also went there, and spoke to the women, among whom was Lydia, “whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” (Acts 16:14) After she and her household were baptized into the body of Christ, she insisted that Paul and his group stay at her home.

As Paul and Silas continued their ministry, an incident involving a slave girl brought them before the magistrate, with accusations of disturbing the city. The judge had them beaten with rods, and cast them into prison. In prison Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns. Although they were injured and secured in stocks, they spoke with the other prisoners. Suddenly a violent earthquake caused the doors of the prison to open, and their chains to come loose. When the jailer awoke, he saw the open doors, and expected that all those in his charge would have escaped. He was ready to commit suicide, when Paul called to him to tell him that none had run away. Because of this miracle, the jailer and his household became believers, after Paul explained God’s wonderful plan to them.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |