Jesus’ Life: Chapter 21 – Paul’s Missionary Journeys
After the Jerusalem Council, Paul and Barnabus returned to Antioch in Syria to share its outcome with the Gentiles namely, circumcision was unnecessary to convert to Christianity.
There they remained for some time, “teaching and proclaiming the word of the Lord,” before embarking on new missionary journeys to revisit and strengthen existing churches and bring the Good News to other areas of Asia Minor and Macedonia. (Acts 15:35)
While Barnabas joined up with the disciple John Mark and sailed for Cyprus, Paul chose the disciple Silas and set off through Syria and Cilicia for Macedonia. Paul’s second journey lasted around three years from approximately AD50 to AD52.
Summary of Places Visited
- Travelled through Lycaonia and Asia Minor to Macedonia. (Acts 16:1-12)
- Baptised Lydia at Philippi, removed a demon, were arrested and beaten but miraculously delivered from prison. (Acts 16:13-40)
- Preached which led to mobs attacking disciples homes in Thessalonica. (Acts 17:1-9)
- Fled to Beroea where they preached but again opposition followed them. (Acts 17:10-15)
- Taken to Athens and preached at the Court of Areopagus. (Acts 17:16-34)
- Established a community at Corinth, stayed one and a half years, tried before the proconsul Gallio. (Acts 18:1-17)
- Returned to Jerusalem and Antioch in Syria. (Acts 18:18-23)
Short Story: Paul’s Vision and Arrival in Philippi
In Troas, Paul received a vision of a man urging him to “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The next day, Paul and Silas sailed to Neapolis and from there, they travelled to Philippi. (Acts 16:9)
Sitting by the river, a cloth dealer named Lydia spoke to them. She was God-fearing and listened to their teachings. “The Lord opened her heart and, along with her whole household, they were baptised”. The woman then persuaded Paul and Silas to stay with them saying, “If you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, come and stay in my house”. (Acts 16:14-15)
Short Story: Paul and Silas’ Imprisonment at Philippi
When Paul removed a demon from a slave-girl, used as a fortune-teller and abused as a source of family income, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” her owners were very angry and had them brought before magistrates, beaten, shackled and imprisoned. (Acts 16:18)
At around midnight, there was a mighty earthquake. Doors throughout the prison were flung open and all prisoner shackles undone. The terrified jailer, thinking the prisoners had escaped, was persuaded by Paul from taking his own life and, with his whole family, they were later baptised.
In the morning, the magistrates ordered Paul and Silas’ release. Paul refused, insisting that the magistrates come and apologise for beating and arresting Roman citizens! The magistrates apologised and pleaded with them to leave the city!
Short Story: Paul at Corinth
Although Paul taught in the synagogue at Corinth every Sabbath, the Jews, “opposed and reviled him”. So, Paul decided to preach among the Gentiles and went to live in the house of a Gentile next door to the synagogue. Many Corinthians believed and were baptised including, the president of the synagogue from next door! (Acts 18:6) (Acts 15:36 – 18:22)
Persistence brings many rewards!
Will I be persistent enough today to be rewarded by God?
Lord Jesus, thank you for my blessings, excuse my impatience and, accept my humble cry to You for Church unity and the conversion of non-believers. Amen
Prayer: The Sick
Father, your Son accepted our sufferings,
teaching us the virtue of patience in human illness.
Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brothers and sisters.
May all who suffer pain, illness or disease
realise that they are chosen to be Saints,
and know that they are joined to Christ
in his suffering for the salvation of the world.