Enjoy Jesus: Acts 17:10
“10) The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.” Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭10‬ ‭
When we come to this verse, we need to hit the pause button and look into the life of Paul. By this point in the book of Acts, he had already suffered much for the gospel. He had been mocked, opposed by false teachers, persecuted, maligned, stoned and left for dead, beaten with rods, put in jail and attacked by mobs. It is easy to forget that side of the coin.
Yes, there were healings, signs, wonders, many conversions and churches started; but at some point the many trials and adversities must have taken a toll on Paul. The magnitude of the opposition was incalculable and the frequency was daunting. Virtually every new door he walked through brought intense personal suffering. Being a ministry partner with Paul was like being chained to a lightening rod!
That’s what makes Acts 17:10 so amazing. They had been sent away from Thessalonica by night to save their lives, but as soon as they arrived in Berea they went into the synagogue and started the process all over again. Why not take a break and catch some R&R? (Rest and Relaxation) They deserved it!
Part of the answer is that Paul was single minded. He was focused. He had tenacity. He was 100% sold out for Christ. Therefore he had resilience. But these character qualities do not capture the whole story.
His personal testimony in Philippians 3:7-21 tells the fuller story. His joy and motivation came from his inner relationship with Jesus Christ through the Spirit and not from outward circumstances. His inner communion with Jesus Christ was the boiler room that heated and fueled all else.
2 Corinthians 10-12 gives a glimpse of the inner Paul. His outward joy and resilience can only be explained as the overflow of his inner relationship with Christ. He alluded to one such encounter with Christ in 2 Corinthians 12. It was so glorious he could not find the words to describe it! He was drinking from inner rivers of living water that overshadowed his outward struggles.
Here is the take away from Acts 17:10; Paul found such a deep surpassing value in his communion with Christ that it eclipsed his outward circumstances. His calling “to God” surpassed his calling “for God.” The outward story of Paul will never make sense until you explore his inward walk in the Spirit.
Every Christian has this same inner calling. The Christian life and ministry can be exasperating until the walk in the Spirit is embraced. Answer your calling “to God!” Enjoy Jesus!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global