Summary of passage: In Philippi, a Roman colony in Greece, Paul and the gang met with a group of women on the Sabbath outside the city (this tells us there was not a synagogue there at this time). Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, was converted and baptized along with others and invited them to stay at her home.
A demon-possessed slave girl began to follow the group around until Paul was so troubled he commanded the spirit out of her. The girl’s owners who no longer could make money off of her, seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the magistrates, accusing them of violating Roman customs. They were stripped, beaten, and thrown in jail.
In jail, whilst singing, an earthquake happened that threw open the prison doors. The jailer was distraught; but seeing the miracle he and his family became converts and were baptized.
Paul and Silas were then released. However, Paul announced his Roman citizenship, striking fear in the magistrates, who then tried to appease them. The group said good-bye to Lydia and the other converts, offering encouragement, and left.
7) Women who had gathered at the place of prayer. They accepted Jesus as their savior and were baptized in his name.
8a) They were preaching the word of God when a slave girl who could predict the future began following them. Paul got so fed up he commanded the evil spirit out of the girl. That got the attention of the slave girls owners, who dragged Paul and Silas before the magistrates, accusing them of advocating unlawful practices for Romans. They were stripped and beaten and thrown into jail.
Paul and Silas began singing prayers and an earthquake threw the doors of the prison open. The jailer and his family was then converted, baptized and saved by Paul and Silas and they were eventually set free.
b) The jailer and his family were saved for eternity. Lydia and the other women were saved as well. Lydia was the first European convert to Christianity so the seed was planted which would spread to convert thousands more.
9) Personal Question. My answer: It’s hard to say. I just don’t know if I’ve touched anyone to be honest outside of my family circle. Definitely nothing as dramatic as Paul’s experiences.
10) As a Roman citizen, you were afforded many rights. You were at the top of the caste system so to speak. Paul wanted the magistrates to know who they were dealing with. As Roman citizens both Paul and Silas were treated inexcusably. There could have been repercussions on the magistrates of Philippi for their actions. By Paul revealing himself the magistrates probably were fearful and would be sure not to cause them trouble next time they were in the city.
This also afforded them the time to meet again with their converts (Lydia and company) without being thrown out of the town.
Conclusions: Great example of the hardships of converting in the early church and what we should be thankful for. Also, I think converting Lydia and a group of women helped to put women on equal footing with men, showing them that women are just as important in God’s eyes as men are. Every soul counts.
Philippi was a Roman province full of Gentiles and not many Jews as indicated by no synagogue. Philippi was named after Philip, King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great’s father, when he conquered the city when it was a part of the Greek city-state of Thrace in 358 BC. (I didn’t know this and found it interesting! I like knowing where the names of things come from.)
End Note: Map of Journey from yesterday: http://www.apostlepaulthefilm.com/paul/journey_02.htm