Psalm 1-3 Acts 17:1-15
“So, many of them believed, as well as many important Greek women and men. But the people in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, too. So they came there, upsetting the people and making trouble.” (Acts 17:12-13 NCV)
Paul and his companions left Philippi and went to Thessalonica. He went about three weeks before the riot started. Then, some from Thessalonica, jealous that Paul was gaining traction among the people went after Paul and Silas. They couldn’t find them, but they found Jason, at whose house the two had been staying, and dragged him and a few other believers before the magistrates claiming that these guys who had caused trouble all over the world, the King James translates this as “turned the world upside down,” and teach that there’s another king other than Caesar were teaching here. Jason and the other believers were required to post a bond, and they rushed Paul and Silas off to Berea. The Bereans actually studied the Scriptures and confirmed what Paul said, but when the Thessalonians heard what was going on, you know, the people who claimed that Paul and Silas were making trouble, they came and caused a riot there causing the Bereans to send Paul out of town quickly.
Christians do have a knack for causing trouble. When we follow Jesus, we begin recognizing things that are wrong in the world and we want change. Our ultimate allegiance isn’t to Caesar, any king, any political leader, or even any country when we do it right, our allegiance is to God. When we see wrong being done, we want to fix it. That troubles people in power. We see life being devalued and we recognize how much God cares for each person and we seek to make a difference whether that person is elderly, in prison, caught up in political issues on the border, poor, or unborn. Some seek to deal with those issues through governmental initiatives. Ultimately, because our allegiance is to God, we must take personal responsibility to care for the needs of others. And that troubles the people in power. We value the lives of those society would oppress for profit, as Paul did in the case of the slave at Philippi, and it costs more to get things done. Profit is lowered. And that causes trouble for the people in power. We care for people in need. That may bring more people who are in need to our area. And that causes trouble for people in power. Maybe the problem Christians have is that we don’t make enough trouble because we’re caring for those in need. Let’s cause more trouble today. Support organizations that care for the poor, the oppressed, or the hungry. Get involved and help personally. It’s time more people complain that we’re the people who turned the world upside down than complain that we’re holding on to power. Let’s use the power we have as children of the Almighty God, to do His work.
Lord, the powers of this world don’t welcome You nor Your ways. Too often the powers pay lip service to You as an excuse for oppressing people. Use me to make trouble in this type of world. Let my fellow Christian make so much trouble in this world that we’re once again called the people who turned the world upside down.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved