Day 105: Business, Good Friends and a Great Loss

Acts 18:1-6 :

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them, and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers. He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!”

We learn here that Paul knew and practiced a trade. He was a tent maker. It is interesting how little time Luke spent talking about Paul and his business dealings. Clearly, Paul’s focus was on the spread of the Gospel. His business was a necessary part of his life in order to make that possible. Paul is a good example for us. Our work makes it possible for us to keep giving to others, instead of having to take from others. Not that there are not times of need. Those times can happen to us because of the sin around us, and not because of our own, but it is the attitude of laboring in order to serve others that I am emphasizing here.

It is great to see that Paul was able to work with Christian friends. We also read in this passage that the Roman government was anti-Semitic in that they had actually kicked the Jews of the city. That was a sad thing for the Jews, but I think that what Paul said was even worse.

When the Jews blasphemed God after he tried to tell them the message of the Gospel, Paul made a declaration that he would no longer go the Jews. The message of salvation would now be indirect and come from the Gentiles or other Jews who had already heard from the apostle. This was a major loss for those Jews because they were no longer hearing the word of the holy prophet Paul who was called by God to deliver new revelation.