After leaving Philippi, Paul and Silas travel 33 miles southwest on the Via Egnatia through Amphipolis and Apollonia, on their way to Thessalonica. They were consistent as they found a synagogue and shared God’s Word with the people. Some of the Jews were persuaded as were “a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.” (Acts 17:4).
But, other Jews became jealous. They went into the marketplace where the idle unemployed were rounded up, formed into a mob, and they stirred up a riot in the city. With these rabble-rousers, the Jews go to Jason’s house with the goal of capturing Paul and Silas to bring them before the city officials. But, the mob could not find Paul and Silas. So instead, they drag Jason and some other Christian before the officials.
The accusations: “These men (Paul and Silas) who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house.” As their host, Jason is held responsible for their actions and for their proclamation of the Gospel. Guilty by association! The crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. What did Jason do? He did not join the jealous Jews. . .or the rabble-rousing mob. He did not deny his association with Paul. . .or his faith.
The officials ordered Jason and the others to post bond for the missionaries, thus assuring them that there would be no further trouble. Because of his faith, and his association with Paul, Jason was held responsible for the “turmoil” caused by people becoming Christians. In essence, he was guilty because of association. . .guilty because of his association with Christ!
Would you be held “guilty” in the world’s eyes because of your association with Christ? Or do you look like everyone else? How does your lifestyle reflect Jesus to others? When has your life persuaded others to look closer at God?
Who are you more like – the jealous Jews? The easily influenced mob? Or Jason?