Today’s passage: Acts 16:6-15
- “Asia” and “Mysia” in verses 7-8 refer to regions of modern day Turkey. Paul and his ministry partners would later go to this area.
- This passage details the move that brought the gospel into Europe.
- When Paul went to Macedonia/Greece, he went to the cities, where the people were.
- If a city had less than ten Jewish heads of households, they were not permitted to build a synagogue. In these situations, (Such as at Philippi) worshipers would gather outside near water.
- The fact that only women met there shows further how few Jewish people were in the city.
- Paul and Silas used the same methods of gospel proclamation as at prior cities (First the Jews, then the Gentiles), but the environment was much different now that they had crossed into this new territory.
- Being a “seller of purple” (An expensive colored dye at the time), Lydia sold her products to royalty and the wealthy. Her own wealth would have allowed her to have a home large enough to host guests and provide a place of worship for a brand new church.
Questions to consider:
- How many visions did Paul have in this passage? Why do we tend to think that being “forbidden by the Spirit” must be a mystical type of experience? What kind of everyday things could God have used to prevent Paul and Silas from entering these regions? Why would Paul and Silas be right to understand that the Lord was providentially preventing them from going there? Is there anything outside His control?
- Why do you think Paul and Silas made a point to go first to the “foremost city” of this region of Macedonia? What was their goal in this early time of church history? What may have been their thinking in how the gospel message would spread from there?
- Why did Lydia believe (Verse 14)? Why then did her household believe? Why did you and I believe? Why do we have every reason to praise God and give Him our thanks and humble service today?