After Paul and Silas’s encounter with Lydia, the fortune-teller, and the jailer, they leave Philippi and head for Thessalonica. As is Paul’s practice, he heads to the local synagogue. For three Sabbaths, he tells the Jews about Jesus. Some decide to follow Jesus, including some God-fearing Greeks and women of influence.
But as is the case during a time of spiritual revival, not everyone is happy. Other Jews grow jealous of Paul and Silas’s success in getting people to turn to Jesus. Instead of seeing God at work, they see this as opposition to their religious status quo. They must stop Paul and Silas before they lose any more of their followers and any more of their influence.
So what do they do?
They hire some slackers to form a mob and start a riot. Then the frenzied horde rushes into Jason’s house looking for Paul and Silas. It’s likely the local followers of Jesus were meeting in Jason’s home, and the mob assumed Paul and Silas would be there.
Nonetheless, when the rioters can’t find Paul or Silas, they grab Jason and the other believers who are there. They drag them before the authorities. There they make accusations against Team Jesus and condemn Jason for opening his home to them. They also charge the believers for opposing Roman rule by serving a different king—Jesus.
The city officials and the crowd freak out when they hear this, so they make Jason and the believers post bail before letting them go. Then, as soon as it gets dark, Paul and Silas sneak out of town.
Much later, as Paul wraps up his letter to the church in Rome, he adds greetings from Timothy, Lucius, Sosipater, and Jason. Assuming this is the same Jason, we see that despite his ordeal in Thessalonica, he continues to help Paul in his ministry.
Sometimes there’s a risk for following Jesus. Are we willing to take those risks?
[Discover more about Jason in Acts 17:5–9 and Romans 16:21.]
Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.