I wonder if anyone at the gate greeted Paul with a hearty, “Welcome to Philippi!” The walk through the ancient city was probably much harsher than what we saw in the video clip. There were very few rights, almost no sanitation, and corruption was everywhere. Sex trafficking, slavery, and addictions were commonplace. I know that is still the sad reality in many parts of the world today.
Then and now the cure for a sin sick world is the gospel of Jesus. This world is beyond repair. The main thrust of Christianity is not to make the world a better place. Through Law and Gospel the Christian church has brought the message of forgiveness and peace to the world for roughly two thousand years. This world with all of it’s failings will pass away. God has a home waiting for each of us in heaven.
While the similarity of the trials might be surprising, consider the methods for mission work. If you were the Apostle Paul and you wandered into this new city of Philippi, where you knew no one, what would be your first move? There was no Yelp! to find the best Chinese food. A phone book? Sorry. There may have been a Chamber of Commerce of sorts, but I don’t know that it would’ve helped Paul to announce his presence in the city in that way.
In the video Paul tells two of his companions to go looking for a synagogue. Synagogues were Jewish churches first started during the Babylonian Captivity. We touched on them in our message from Sunday on Nehemiah 8. Not finding a synagogue, the next logical place to look was down by the river on the Sabbath day. That was the universal gathering place for Jews in the diaspora.
Want to hear more? Watch this weeks lesson in our Bible class series End of the Earth. Welcome to Philippi.
Please click HERE to watch the video clip.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.