4 “And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.” (Acts 17:4–5)
The Gospel provokes resections. It solicits a response. The reactions and responses to the Gospel may be negative or positive. We witness both responses to the Gospel in today’s text.
To begin with, there was the positive reaction to the Gospel by not only some of the Jews of Thessalonica, but also by a great many of the devout Greeks and a few of the leading women of the city. Luke recorded that the response to the Gospel by the Gentiles was much greater than by the Jews.
As was the case in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:45), certain non-converted Jews became jealous. They incited wicked and worthless men from the marketplace, who were loafers, loiterers and bums, and formed a mob. They proceeded to set the city in an uproar. In other words, they caused a riot to occur in the city. Sounds like America 2020. You do not agree with someone, or something, and you start a riot.
The mob targeted the house of Jason. Apparently they did so believing that Paul was staying there while in Thessalonica. The purpose of pursuing Paul and his colleagues was to drag them out and receive the justice of the mob.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Luke evidently included this incident to reemphasize the continued Jewish rejection. Jason probably had provided lodging for Paul and Silas. The Jews were intent on finding Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. Thessalonica was a free city which meant it was sovereign in its local affairs, and not subject to provincial administration in such matters.”
The uproar of the mob rule in Thessalonica mirrors the uproar we have witnessed in America during the latter part of 2020. People protest, peacefully and otherwise, but it appears that all that is accomplished is to express a rejection of any and all authority. Ultimately, the authority being rejected is God’s.
Soli deo Gloria!