Biblical People

Biblical People: Lydia

Lydia is a merchant who sells expensive purple material. She lives in Philippi. She worships God but doesn’t know about Jesus. 

When Paul shows up, he tells her who Jesus is and what he did. She wants to follow Jesus too. She believes and is baptized to show her commitment to him. Then she asks Paul and his buddies to stay at her house.

Later, Paul and Silas heal a fortune-telling slave girl and end up in jail as a result. The next day they’re released and head back to Lydia’s where they meet with more of Jesus’s followers. After encouraging them, Paul and Silas leave town.

When Lydia decides to follow Jesus, she goes all in. She even has people meet at her home. She doesn’t need to take a class, join a church, or wait until her faith matures. She does what she can right away. 

We later learn of an active local church in Philippi. I imagine Lydia is a key part of it. They might still meet at her house.

Do we make people wait before we let them serve Jesus or help at church?

[Discover more about Lydia in Acts 16:14–40.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website 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.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at