Day 107: Influence

Acts 18:11-17 :

He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”

But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you; but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don’t want to be a judge of these matters.” He drove them from the judgment seat.

Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn’t care about any of these things.

God protected Paul and he was able to stay there in Corinth for a year and a half. Evidently, Crispus, the one in the previous passage that was said to be the ruler of the synagogue no longer performed that duty because here we read that Sosthenes held the position. It’s a good thing too, because he ended up getting beat up by the Greeks. It might have felt bad for Crispus to lose his job, but it’s a good thing that it wasn’t him working in that position the day when the Greeks decided to beat Sosthenes. This is not a good thing at all and the Bible doesn’t condone riots against the Jews. We know that God still loves the Jews, but here the bad leadership ended up getting hurt instead of Paul.

It is obvious that Gallio didn’t have the same worldview as the Jews because he didn’t care about the Law. Paul knew that everyone should pay attention to the Law of God because it explains why Jesus had to come to save us and Jesus came to save Gallio too.

Gallio was not a good leader, but we know from the previous chapter that God had many people in the city. It appears that, somehow, even bad leaders like Gallio were influenced. I think that this shows how important it is for us as believers in God’s word to be strong in faith. We can become a good influence in the cities that we live in even if the leadership is bad.